Should Amazon build a brick-and-mortar store?

Rumor has it that the premier online retailer is taking a page from Apple and opening a retail 'boutique' in Seattle. Does this compute? The critics weigh in.

By TheWeek.com Feb 7, 2012 1:44PM

Image: Woman making purchase (© Tim Pannell/Corbis)Online retail giant Amazon (AMZN) will open its first retail store in just a few short months, according to Michael Kozlowski at Good E-Reader.


Citing "Amazon sources close to the situation," Kozlowski says the company is planning to take the "small boutique route," opening a high-end, Apple-like shop in Seattle that focuses on Amazon Exclusives books, Kindle e-readers and tablets, and other accessories. If the store is a hit, Amazon would expand nationwide. This is clearly still just a rumor, but even if Amazon isn't truly thinking of getting physical, should it be?


An Amazon store is madness: Amazon flirting with brick-and-mortar retailing "may be a sign that 2012 really is the year of the apocalypse," says Peter Pachal at Mashable. Yes, it worked for Apple (AAPL). But it would be "a strange move for a company synonymous with the efficiency and convenience of online retail." Amazon thrives because it pioneered the art of foregoing the overhead costs of real-world stores. Embracing them now is "akin to Google creating a microfiche search service."


Actually, this would be a good move: Amazon is "not an online seller, it's a seller," says Ryan Kim at GigaOm. And a curated space to showcase Amazon's growing collection of Kindles and other branded products could help. Why should these gadgets simply "vie for shelf space in Best Buy"? A retail shop would also give Amazon a place to sell the books from its new publishing house, which stores like Barnes & Noble won't stock. This "would be a big turning point for Amazon, and one that ultimately makes sense." 


Let's not get too worked up about this rumor: The market isn't wild about the idea: Amazon's stock sank Monday, says Dan Mitchell at Fortune. But investors and bloggers are overreacting. This isn't even the first time Amazon store rumors have popped up. It was only in December when we heard that Amazon was considering "big, Costco-like stores." And even if the latest rumor is true -- so what? A trial Amazon store "might work . . . or it might not." If it's a hit, great. And "if not, it won't be a great loss," for Amazon or us.

More from The Week:
Tags: AAPLAMZN
1Comment
Feb 7, 2012 2:20PM
avatar
Amazon is to big to ever be a "box' retailer.   So what, they open a store to sell kindles, that's not really "brick and mortar."
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

STOCK SCOUTER

StockScouter rates stocks from 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, using a system of advanced mathematics to determine a stock's expected risk and return. Ratings are displayed on a bell curve, meaning there will be fewer ratings of 1 and 10 and far more of 4 through 7.

116
116 rated 1
265
265 rated 2
429
429 rated 3
612
612 rated 4
499
499 rated 5
525
525 rated 6
701
701 rated 7
533
533 rated 8
337
337 rated 9
131
131 rated 10
12345678910

Top Picks

SYMBOLNAMERATING
UPLULTRA PETROLEUM Corp10
COPCONOCOPHILLIPS9
TAT&T Inc9
DVNDEVON ENERGY CORPORATION9
EOGEOG RESOURCES Inc9
More

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

ABOUT

Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.

Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.

Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.