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What If Amazon Bought Borders?...

Bricks Be honest.  Isn't that a question you've asked yourself a time or two over the past several months?  I read this New York magazine article again last night and when I hit this part I wondered about it all over again:

Recently William Ackerman, a major Borders shareholder, suggested they should sell to Amazon instead (of B&N).  That probably won't happen, but his reasoning is clear.  Barnes & Noble is old news.  Amazon is the future.

So humor me for a moment while I speculate about what a Bordazon world might look like...

First of all, finally, we'd see Kindles in a brick-and-mortar outlet.  Hooray!  I tend to think the lack of Kindles in physical stores has been one of the device's biggest adoption obstacles.  That and the $350 price tag.

Next, do you want to see some technology in a brick-and-mortar store?  Amazon would probably have tech kiosks on every endcap, enabling you to order all sorts of (book and non-book) products right there, on the spot.  They'd probably also figure out how to turn the store into even more of a trendy hangout joint.  Think Starbucks meets the Apple Store.

This would also be an excellent opportunity to (finally!) tear down the wall between online and physical stores.  How about offering the same discounts online and in the store?  You want three books and two are in the store but one isn't?  No problem.  We'll get the third one to you tomorrow, not when our distributor can get it to us sometime next week!  You're ordering a book online?  We'll check your zipcode to see if that title is at your local store for immediate pickup -- why wait till tomorrow when you can get it today?

OK, I know the chance of these things actually happening is pretty slim.  Sure, the brick-and-mortars have all that extra overhead to deal with but hey, I can dream, can't I?

Comments

Joseph Devon

Jump forward ten years in the world of POD technology and this store could contain nothing but cool computer interface tools and browsing methods as well as a chute near the register where your newly printed selections come plopping out ready to be bagged and purchased.

Sigh.

And they give out free hot chocolate because why not?

Book Calendar

Amazon is working with a new virtual storefront system called Zoomii. http://www.zoomii.com It mimics the shelf layout of a bookstore. It would be interesting if they attached something like this to a Print On Demand Workstation. You could do a virtual search of a physical store and pick up your book on the spot as it was printed.

Diane Eble

You've got me dreaming, too, Joe! Sooner or later, what I call the New Era of Publishing WILL come, whether it looks exactly like this or not. I love bookstores, and yet--I never have time to go into one. Plus, I love to read comments from other readers. What would THAT look like in a brick-and-mortar bookstore--the whole interactive element?

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