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Conflicting reports on Amazon’s real world book store plans

05 February 2016 - 14:01 by David Aiken

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Earlier this week, the internet was alight with the news that online retailer, Amazon, was allegedly looking to open up to 400 bricks and mortar book stores across North America, signalling its entry to the high street market in a major way.

This caused concerns for existing booksellers and prompted questions about the commercial benefits that Amazon might gain as a result of offering more than just e-commerce shopping experiences.

Last year, Amazon did indeed open its first book store, although it was marketed more as a kind of showroom for the titles which are available, with visitors encouraged to place orders via safe shopping online, if something caught their attention.

But the day after the rumours of a wider bricks and mortar roll out of this business model arose, the original source was forced to backpedal and admit that the intentions of Amazon itself were not represented by them, according to Reuters.

Furthermore, a statement from an Amazon spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the veracity of the rumours, which of course leaves open the possibility that it may well end up with a network of book stores, to complement its offerings of safe shopping online.

For some, the idea of Amazon arriving on the high street is not just problematic because of the competition it might cause for other retailers, but also because it feels like it could be a step backwards for a company which has been hugely successful in the e-commerce market alone.

However, there are other industry observers who argue that the hugely competitive online arena is reaching saturation point and that for companies like Amazon to keep growing, the only option is to build bricks and mortar stores where their brands can reach many more new customers.