Amazon to open bricks-and-mortar store, blogger says

Online retailer Amazon.com is poised to open its first bricks-and-mortar store in Seattle, according to an American blogger who covers the e-reader sector.

The store will open its doors “within the next few months,” MichaelKozlowski wrote on his blog Goodereader today. Rather than abigbox store, the location will be a boutique space selling a limitedamount of books and focusing more on “high-margin and high-end items”such as Kindle e-readers, the Kindle Fire tablet and accessorieslikecases and screen protectors, Kozlowski writes. He said he obtained theinformation from unnamed sources at Amazon.

The Seattle location will be set up as a trial balloon to test theviability of other Amazon street-level stores, the blogger says.

If Amazon goes ahead with the planand expands it more widely, it wouldsolve a hurdle now faced by its publishing division: rival U.S.bookseller Barnes and Noble has refused to stock any titles put out byAmazon’s in-house publishing unit in it stores as a competitivemeasure.

Last week Amazon’s stock price fell by eight per cent the day after thecompany reported its fourth quarter earnings, even though sales in theperiod rose 35 per cent. Some analysts blamed the share’s slide onconcerns that Amazon’s North America media division (which includesvideo games and e-book content) is seeing softsales, despiteexpectations that stronger Kindle sales at the end of 2001 would givethat division a boost.

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