Amazon Preparing To Launch A Retail Store?

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Amazon may be preparing to launch its very own retail store, according to a recent report. The company is apparently planning to launch a single store in Seattle, Washington, where Amazon is headquartered, sometime in the next few months. Amazon would use the store as a test case to determine whether a larger retail chain could be profitable.

Citing “sources close to the situation” Michael Kozlowski of Good E Reader says that Amazon has contracted the design through a shell company in order to maintain secrecy. The Amazon store would specialize in higher-end items and books published through Amazon’s own recently launched publishing division.

If it works, Amazon’s entrance into the retail store business could significantly intensify the company’s ongoing rivalry with brick-and-mortar retailers, most notably Barnes & Noble. With the collapse of Borders last year, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million stand as the last nationwide book retail chains. Competition with Amazon has severely impacted the traditional brick-and-mortar bookstore. Even as Barnes and Noble prepares a new Nook device to keep up with Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the company has also announced that it would shun books from Amazon’s publishing arm.

What do you think? Is a retail store the right direction for Amazon, or should they stick to the online model that has worked so well for them until now? Sound off in the comments.

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