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From online to offline: Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore in Seattle

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November 5
12:20 AM 2015

Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore on Tuesday this week. The store is located in the University Village shopping center, an upscale outdoor mall north of the University of Washington, Seattle.

The company chose Seattle for the store's  location because it's close to Amazon's headquarters and because Seattle is a top market for readers.

The store, dubbed Amazon Books, includes about 5,000 to 6,000 titles of best sellers and Amazon's customer favourite books, according to Seattle Times.The books are stocked outward-facing in the wood shelves. The store also includes a tag quoting Amazon review posted under the book.

Amazon's Vice President Jennifer Cast stated in theAmazon's blog, that the company has applied 20 years of online book selling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.

The books in Amazon's store are selected based on customer ratings on Amazon.com, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and Amazon's curators' assessments. The books in the store have been rated 4 stars above and many books are award winners.

The company is confident the data collection it generates from shopping patterns on Amazon's website will give the advantages on Amazon's Books that other bookstores can't match.

According to Mashable, there is one special corner in the store that highlights books that have an average rating of 4.8 or above. The Amazon Books also sells Kindles.

Amazon Books also displays a staff favourites section that will be updated periodically. This section includes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezo's favourite titles including "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin de Becker, "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman and "Traps" by his wife, MacKenzie Bezos.

The bookstore also showcases some of Amazon's gadgets including Kindle e-readers, Echo, Fire Tablets and Fire TV. The consumers are allowed to test drive the devices and they will be assisted by Amazon device experts who will answer questions about the products.

The store has 15 employees including librarians, retail clerks and a receptionist. Many of the employees were working as staffs at other local bookstores before Amazon reached  them.

Amazon Books is following Amazon's forays into reality rather than virtual world. Earlier this year, the company launched its new Home Service business that offering everything for home services including painting and cleaning tools.

The company didn't rule out the possibility of having other bookstores to follow.

Amazon charges the same price for books in Amazon Books as prices offered on its website. The store is open every day, Monday to Sunday, and there are two holidays for the store in a year: thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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