In the wake of Walmart’s decision to stop selling Kindles, there’s renewed speculation that Amazon could decide to open physical stores across America. The logic goes something like this: now that the issue of sales tax has been settled, there’s nothing preventing Amazon trying to emulate the success of Apple’s physical stores, and this would be a way for the company to increase the Kindle’s visibility to consumers.
The source of this speculation is a Reuters article that doesn’t seem to have any firm sources. Given that so-called “pop-up stores” can be established fairly quickly, the idea is that Amazon could potentially have these physical locations ready in time for Christmas. The stores would focus on the Kindle and various accessories, and the idea kind of makes sense. I could certainly see Amazon having a trial run of the idea.
This is one of those rumours that has been circulating for a while and refuses to die. Many aspects of Amazon’s success are specific to the online market and couldn’t possibly be replicated in the physical world, but a Kindle-focused stores might work. After all, the Kindle is the gateway to Amazon’s online store. Once a customer has a Kindle in their hand, the sales should (in theory) follow. Amazon would likely make a loss on any physical store program, at least initially, but perhaps it would be the ultimate loss-leader?