It caused quite a stir when a shopping-mall executive speculated that Amazon was planning to open as many as 400 physical bookstores around the nation. Amazon calls its plans more modest, which means Amazon Bookstores are still going to be popping up.
Rich Bellis, associate editor at Fast Company, predicted that the Amazon stores will be hybrids combining showroom, warehouse, pickup lockers, and books. He based that on the bookstore the online retailer already opened in Seattle and the model it has opened on some college campuses, which have simply been staffed order-and-pickup locations.
Bellis also said Amazon watched Barnes & Noble have trouble incorporating the Nook device into its stores and has learned from that lesson.
“It’s a physical bookseller with a failed digital business,” Bellis wrote. “Amazon has never been in that position and knows better than to put itself there. Instead, it may see physical locations as (among other things) more akin to Apple Stores, where it can showcase the hardware it sells online, with books being the sorts of things you might grab on your way out, like a new iPhone case.”