Turns out even Amazon.com realizes the value of brick and mortar.
The online retailer will open one of its Amazon Books stores at Domain Northside in North Austin on Tuesday – the first in Texas and the 14th nationwide.
The store, at 11700 Rock Rose Ave., stocks about 3,800 different titles at any given time – a mix of bestsellers, new releases and an assortment of other books rated four stars or higher by Amazon.com customers.
In addition to books, the store also sells an assortment of Amazon gadgets such as the Alexa personal assistant and Kindle e-readers.
“We wanted to build a space that integrates the best of both worlds – online and offline,” said Mariana Garavaglia, head of stores and retail operations for Amazon Books.
Garavaglia said putting a location in Austin was an easy decision. Other stores are located in Amazon’s Seattle home base, as well as in Los Angeles, New York and Portland, Ore.
“Austin is a vibrant community full of booklovers,” she said. “We’re excited to introduce this store. We hope everyone who comes in can find a great new book.”
Visitors to the store will notice a few differences compared to other bookstores. For instance, most books in the store are displayed front facing. That cuts down on available space to stock books, Garavaglia admits, but it also makes it much easier to discover titles you weren’t even looking for in the first place.
“We’re a store that’s all about discovery,” she said. “Every time I’m in our stores, I discover a great new title.”
Each book on the store’s shelves also has a review taken straight from Amazon.com, and many of the titles are arranged in groupings such as “If you like …” and “Highly quotable.”
Amazon Prime subscribers pay the same discounted rate charged on Amazon.com when shopping in Amazon Books stores, while customers without Prime pay list price for their purchases.
“We’re always trying to innovate and invent for our customers,” Garavaglia said. “It a really fun experience we’ve created – a store without walls.”
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