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- New Yorkers! No longer will you be oppressed by the tyranny of convenience. Rather than having your purchases sent to you, you can go pick them up at a retail store! Hail Bezos!
Amazon is reportedly going to open their first retail store in New York City, across from the Empire State Building. "The store will be more like a warehouse," Huffington Post says. New Yorkers will be able to pick up that day's online Amazon purchases at the store and also use the store to return items they bought online.
Rumors of an Amazon store have been floating around for years now—back in early 2012, Amazon was supposedly going to open a store in Seattle. Until today those rumors have always failed to materialize, but the description of the hypothetical store has always been roughly the same: A showroom that's more Apple Store than Walmart, with lots of open spaces and product interactivity. These reports make it sound more like these will be staffed Amazon lockers, where people can interact with Amazon customer service in person. We'll soon see if those old rumors are true; the store is supposed to open in time for the Christmas shopping season.
I don't think bookstores will have anything to worry about from these retail locations; Amazon is not going into the brick-and-mortar bookselling business. If they even do have browsing areas, these stores will likely be aimed more at luxury items like electronics (and possibly jewelry, which is a business that Amazon has repeatedly tried and failed to understand as an online retailer). Now that Amazon has made physical retailing more difficult for just about everyone, I can't really imagine them dying to break into that field.