> Amazon: Coming To A Store Near You!

Amazon: Coming To A Store Near You!

Posted on Sunday, December 6, 2009 | No Comments

Amazon have always been a smart company.  They survived the .com boom of the 1990’s and they’ve remained a dominant force online ever since, whilst also expanding beyond books, music and movies to an all star line up of electrical equipment, computer games, home ware and a lot, lot more.


Now it seems that Amazon are trying to get into the High Street space – article here – and who could blame them?  One of the biggest book stores, Borders, has just gone under making some prime real estate available and a reduced competition in the book market place. 


What’s more it brings them head to head against other already well established companies such as Game, Argos, Curry’s, PC World (potentially), and others.  In my opinion the thing that always let Borders down was Amazon.  Borders prices for book were always way above those available online, and that wasn’t lost on shoppers – who could browse to their hearts content in a Borders (or a Waterstones), store and then return home and order up your favourite books online at a fraction of the price.


For me, the only attraction – other than being able to actually pick up and flick through the books before ordering – was the “in-house” Starbucks that encouraged readers to grab a book, take a comfy seat and relax for a moment.  Whilst I never noticed that many people reading in our local Borders/Starbucks, its certainly something both companies could have taken advantage of by expanding the coffee area a bit more and having a “Quiet Zone” where people could read or work away from those who wanted to a chat and a catch up over a coffee.


Another thing that Amazon could put right that has always bugged me about Borders/Starbucks is the lack of free wifi for shoppers.  Being an online retailer, if they were able to offer free wifi connectivity to allow shoppers to check their ‘in-store’ deals against those on the web, that would be a revelation.  Even if customers had a buy a coffee in order to qualify for – lets say – an hours worth of free connectivity to the internet and somehow Starbucks split that with Amazon, that would surely draw more people into both Starbucks for a coffee, online onto Amazon’s website, whilst they are in an Amazon store – where they can both browse the shelves at the latest deals or order through the website and pickup on your way out. 


That combination would be mighty and so unique on today’s High Street, it just might work and it just might lead to a very different fate than that of Borders.  RIP Borders, but bring on the “Amazon Store” I say.

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