Amazon opens bookstore in New York

After opening six bookstores in major cities across the country, Amazon is tackling the US publishing capital. Two more stores will open in the New York area this year.

Amazon is establishing itself in the heart of the American publishing capital. The e-commerce giant opened the doors on Thursday of its first New York bookstore. The concept is not new. Amazon has opened six stores since 2015, between Seattle, San Diego, Portland and Chicago. But the arrival of these new kind of bookstores has a particular taste in Manhattan. Amazon Books is located south of Central Park in Columbus Circle, a few blocks from the US headquarters of powerful publishers Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette. A bit as if Amazon chose the Saint-Germain district to set up a bookstore in Paris …

As a high-tech company, Amazon Books is not quite a store like the others. There are classic sections for youth, literature, cuisine or travel. But with an area of ​​370 m² and only 3000 references in store, Amazon has decided to restrict its selection of books to those having obtained an average rating of at least four out of five stars on its site. “It’s another way to highlight the best books”, asserts in USA Today Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books. Amazon prides itself on a certain expertise in this area. According to the Codex Group institute, the company alone sells half of the books on the American market, in physical and digital versions …

Departments created from site data

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SPENCER PLATT / AFP

The business does not stop there. Among the shelves, we can find a selection of books “having obtained 4.8 stars or more”, “having had more than 10,000 reviews”, “the most added to wish lists” and even “read under. three days”. This last category is based on data collected via its Kindle reader and highlights the most addicting books. To further guide the reader in his choice, each book is accompanied by a review written by an Amazon customer, and not a bookseller.

These bookstores are the opportunity for Amazon to promote its products and services. Part of the store displays its Kindle e-reader, Kindle Fire tablet and Echo smart speakers. Subscribers to the Amazon Prime service benefit from reduced prices on books. All they have to do is scan the sheet of the book with the Amazon application to find out their preferential rate (the latter changes regularly). A practice that cannot be transposed to France, under the law on the single book price. Last but not least, Amazon Books does not accept cash payments. The customer must pay by credit card, or better yet, with his Amazon application linked to his customer account.

The opening of stores is more and more popular with Internet companies. They allow them to exhibit their products, to strengthen their attachment to the brand and to have a “live” relationship with their customers. It is also a way of attracting to it an audience that is not very connected or does not wish to shop online. Amazon plans six more bookstore creations this year, including two more in New York State. The second will open this summer in Manhattan, on 34th Street. Amazon is also in talks with Unibail-Rodamco to open stores in France, but it should not be bookstores.

Amazon launches a ranking of the most read books

Since this week, Internet users can consult on Amazon a new weekly ranking of the best sales of books, Amazon charts. The latter differs from the usual tops. Purchases on Amazon.com are counted as best-sellers, but also e-book loans from Kindle and listenings on the Audible audio book platform. Another category is emerging: the most read books of the moment. This ranking is built from data from the Kindle e-reader and Audible. According to Amazon, this distinction makes it possible to differentiate between bestsellers and books that have really interested readers.


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