Amazon, long the king of online retail, might finally be ready to take on real-world retailers with a brick-and-mortar store.
The store, the sources say, would be a pilot and, if successful, would lead to a chain of Amazon stores.
Rather than being a high-inventory big box on a Target or Walmart scale, the Amazon store was said to be planned as a boutique carrying high-end, high-profit-margin items as well as the brand’s Kindle line and accessories.
In a way, it would be a bit like the Apple stores one sees in every shopping mall these days, with a few big-ticket goodies in other verticals, as well.
The sources said Amazon would also be selling physical books at the stores.
We can see stores like this being popular additions to shopping centers, especially at airports, where bored and captive passengers would gladly throw down for a new book or a new book-reading, game-running gadget.
Amazon recently reported lower than expected profits for Q4 2011, in spite of record high sales numbers for e-readers and tablets. The company’s Kindle Fire, which was available for pre-order starting last September, has been the star of the show, selling as many as 6 million units in the final quarter of the year.
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