Rumors are flying that Amazon may be opening a brick and mortar store in Seattle. Great. Is there anything they won’t dip their money-grubbing hands into? Good E-Reader and Bloomburg both report that the store would focus on selling higher-end “Amazon exclusives” like the Kindle and titles from their new publishing outfit, while Digital Book World’s article by Jeremy Greenfield claims, “[t]he Amazon store would conceivably be Costco plus Whole Foods plus Barnes & Noble, but bigger.”
Amazon, haven’t you done enough already? The online retail giant has managed to cyber-stomp countless physical businesses into the ground without being a physical presence itself, so I hate to think of what will happen if it begins manifesting itself on street corners. Perhaps if Amazon had a conscience, I would be less concerned, but they have proven time and time again that they are a profit-driven machine willing to alter the playing field in their favor, simply because they can. How long will it be until they are hawking goods of all varieties at prices low enough to undermine their competition? I do not for a second believe that they will restrain themselves to being a niche-market boutique. That’s just not Amazon’s style.
Shelf Awareness‘s summary of the matter was good enough to include a reminder from Forbes Magazine that Amazon storefront rumors have surfaced in the past and proven to be untrue. Here’s hoping the gossipmongers have gotten their facts wrong.