From e-tail to retail? If rumors are true, massive online marketplace Amazon is taking a risky step: opening a brick-and-mortar store of its own.
Plans for the new store aren't entirely solid yet. Still, Amazon is supposedly looking into opening up a store in Seattle, home of the company's headquarters. The store would focus on Amazon exclusives, such as books printed through Amazon's publishing arm, the Kindle Fire e-reader, and high-profit-margin accessories for the Kindle, such as screen protectors. The concept for the Amazon store is similar to that of the Apple store: To create a new way for customers to buy from Amazon, and to boost customer loyalty.
The move certainly carries some high risks. Book retailer Borders recently went under due in no small part to pressure from online book sales. Further, opening up physical stores requires Amazon to start collecting state sales taxes — something that may hurt the brand's sales among especially price-sensitive consumers who buy on the internet to avoid taxes.
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