It hasn’t gotten much press coverage, but Amazon’s second bookstore opened last week in San Diego.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the second Amazon Books has opened on the second floor of the Westfield UTC mall. It’s located next to the Tesla store, and is across the hall and about three or four storefronts down from the Apple store.
From the description, it sounds like Amazon is using the 3,500-square-foot space to run the same type of data-gathering and customer-training operation found in the Amazon Books in Seattle.
San Diego shoppers will indeed find that the store is designed to funnel them into Amazon’s broader e-commerce marketplace. Sales associates’ most frequent refrain — the question: “Do you have the Amazon app on your phone?” — is a constant reminder that something larger is at play. Shoppers are not only trained on how to download the Amazon app and scan books to check prices, but are also encouraged to pay with their Amazon account, via smartphone, at checkout.
In addition to selling books and Prime memberships, the storefront doubles as Amazon’s hardware showroom. Tables featuring the company’s familiar lineup gadgets — the Kindle, Fire TV and Fire tablets — comprise about a quarter of the total retail space. Amazon’s up-and-coming tech toys, the Echo and its portable counterpart the Tap, are also on display so shoppers can see, feel and hear the digital personal assistants. Here, shoppers will also find a sampling of smart home devices from other company’s such as Samsung and Phillips.
All in all, there’s not much to report.
Amazon now has two bookstores opened, two additional bookstores in the works, and a rumored fifth store planned for NYC.
If Amazon continues to grow at this rate (doubling their store count every year) then they will achieve that rumored goal of 400 bookstores sometime in 2024.
Yes, an exponential growth curve is unlikely, but B&N will likely be dead by then, and the vacuum left behind will give Amazon plenty of opportunity to expand.
photo via SD Union-Tribune