Remember when Apple opened its first retail store and everyone thought they were crazy? It’s déjà vu all over again. The Wall Street Journal (article paywalled; google the headline to read) cites the ubiquitous “people familiar with” the matter to reveal that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St. in New York City, across from the Empire State Building and just a block away from Macy’s at Herald Square, just in time for the holiday season.

The store space could be used for same-day delivery in New York City, returns and exchanges, order pickup, and hand-selling items like its Kindle line or other hot products. It’s all a great big experiment, and may come to nothing if it doesn’t work out…but then again, it could pull an Apple Store and expand to other US cities if successful.

We’ll certainly be keeping our eye on this. Amazon has a history of doing even ordinary things in unexpected ways. I can’t wait to see what surprises the company has in store for its physical retail space.

I wonder how much of a coincidence it is that this first store is located right in the heart of the hometown of traditional publishing? Those publishers must really be starting to get gun-shy from all those shots fired across their bow…


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail