‘Amazon Books’, Amazon’s First New York City Bookstore

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

‘Amazon Books’, the first of two New York City stores from Amazon opened its doors for the first time a week or so ago (Thursday, May 25, 2017), in Columbus Circle’s Time Warner Center on Manhattan’s west side.

Here’s a quick summary: –

  • ‘Amazon Books’ is on the third floor (and has window frontage onto Columbus Circle if you want to orient yourself to find it)
  • It occupies 4,000 square feet
  • The store is cashless (you pay by credit card or the Amazon app)
  • No prices are shown for books (you either take a book to a ‘price scanner’ or use the Amazon app to find out the price)
  • Interestingly, all books are shown with their covers face out (if all books were spine-out, it is estimated that they would have been able to have 8,000 books in store. Face-out, there are only 3,000 books)
  • Amazon don’t seem to want customers to linger, there are hardly any seats
  • Books that Amazon Kindle users have completed in three days or less are presented as ‘Page Turners’ (very clever)
  • The majority of books in the store seems to have at least 4-star ratings; exceptions include new books and new authors or books highly rated on Amazon Wish Lists
  • There’s a ‘Highly Rated’ table with books that have 4.8 (and above) ratings from Amazon customers (one assumes, instead of a ‘Bestsellers’ table
  • Amazon’s ‘Recommended For You’ is mimicked in the section ‘If You Like, You’ll Love’; a popular book is laid out next to three others, which Amazon employees have decided on based on similar themes and sales.

The Columbus Circle store is open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Amazon Books will open another store in NYC, on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building, sometime this summer.

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