Seattleites love shopping local. And by “local” I mean browsing for $200 jeans at Nordstrom, downing 380-calorie drinks from Starbucks, lusting after titanium sporks at REI, stocking up on cases of imported fizzy water from Costco, and buying fighter jets from Boeing. So imagine the twitterpation over the rumor that our very own Amazon is planning to open a brick-and-mortar store inside the Seattle city limits.
Apparently the e-commerce giant wants a venue to showcase its exclusive products. You could walk in to a non-virtual Amazon and discover authors that you won’t find at your local bookstores and then turn around and test-drive Kindle e-readers and tablets.
It’s a risky, but potentially profitable, idea. Apple‘s too-cool-for-school stores earned more than $2 billion for the company in 2010 and allowed 233.3 million people to interact with the Apple brand.
“The interesting number, though, to me, is not the financial results, but it’s the people who come to our stores,” Macworld quotes Apple senior VP of retail Ron Johnson as saying. “Because ultimately a store is about customers.”
Things haven’t worked so well for Seattle-area giant Microsoft, though. Business Insider points to Microsoft’s lack of exclusivity for hurting its retail chances. You might showroom at the Microsoft store, but you can still buy phones at Best Buy or Amazon.com for that matter. And as far as I can tell, the jury is also still out on eBay‘s holiday kiosk experiment.
Different people want different things from a shopping experience. Some people shop online to avoid salespeople. Others would never buy a gadget they haven’t first held in their hands. No matter what, it’s clear that e-commerce providers, as well as brick-and-mortar stores, are trying to hit on a hybrid formula attractive to as many consumers as possible. Even those who shop local.
Read more at Good e-Reader.com.