Forbes.ru reported this morning that Amazon has opened a new office in Russia, and hired a publishing industry insider to run it. Arkady Vitrouk has left his position as the CEO of Russia's Atticus Publishing Group to take this new position with Amazon. According to his LinkedIn profile he's now the "Director, Kindle Content at Amazon EU Sarl".
In addition to hiring Vitrouk, Amazon has also posted job opening for positions in the Russian Kindle Store and reportedly filed for trademarks for "storage and delivery of goods, packaging of goods for further transport, storage of electronic texts, audio-visual works, files, printing and books."
Yep, that is definitely a sign that Amazon is going to launch a local Kindle Store in Russia as well as a retail website. Amazon already holds the URL amazon.ru, though it does currently link elsewhere, so clearly this had always been on the roadmap.
When I first heard about this news, I thought Amazon was going for a strictly digital play. But if the detail about the trademarks is true then the Kindle Store is but the tip of the spear. Amazon is probably repeating the strategy they used when they launched in Brazil. Their first operation in that country was the Kindle Store, which launched in December 2012. So far as I can tell Amazon has yet to launch a retail operation in Brazil, but it is probably in the works.
Barnes & Noble has been rumored to be interested in launching in Russia, and they even filed for a trademark last year.
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