Thursday, February 11, 2016

Rambly thoughts on all this Amazon brick and mortar expansion ballyhoo

 This piece is from our friends at Mosaic Books in Kelowna BC Canada.

Diana's (rambly) thoughts on all this Amazon brick and mortar expansion ballyhoo

Surely you've all heard the scary ooga booga news that Amazon is planning on opening HUNDREDS OF STORES (!!!)  after opening their first physical store in Seattle last fall. First off, I'm going to believe the more modest numbers that Shelf Awareness has reported - the reality is that Amazon plans to open a dozen or so stores, not hundreds. But numbers aside, this news is probably sending shivers down the spines of hardworking indie booksellers. Well, don't let it.

Amazon may be regarded as a cutting edge online retailer - and no one is denying that they are - but here is proof that they are slow to realize the one thing we have known all along - consumers like having a physical space to browse and interact with people and the product. Let me just say that again, but a bit louder: PEOPLE LIKE TALKING TO PEOPLE AND TOUCHING ALL THE THINGS THEY WANNA BUY. Sure, people also like shopping for drones at 3am in their underwear, but there is no denying the growth in the "shop localism" movement.

It was only a few years ago that we were all shaking in our boots about THE EBOOK and death of the printed page was near. And we all know what came of that - Not much. People are still buying books, and in fact, sales at indie stores across North America are on the rise, in a big way. Book people are tough and resourceful and most importantly, they are people. We are more than just a fancy online tool that says "if you liked this you may also like this!" Period.