We broke the story a few months ago that Amazon was opening up a retail store in the Seattle area, where they are based. Forbes, Fox News, CNN and many other news-sources picked up on our story and we have a new chapter to report on.
According to leaked sources from design firm NBBJ, the new Amazon store will be on the ground retail level in one of the towers the are constructing. It will feature a large bookstore where books published by Amazon will be sold. There will also be a cafe attached to it and is it unknown if Amazon will do their own in-house operation or contract it out to another Seattle based company, Starbucks.
In February, Amazon reached an agreement with Clise Properties to purchase the land in downtown Seattle. This was the companies first foray into actually buying land and developing a mega project on it. The online retailer has filed preliminary plans with the city to build three office towers of one million square feet each. Each tower would include a parking and sit on its own block. Seattle architecture firm NBBJ was commissioned to design the project.
The proposed store is slatted to face 7th avenue but it could take as long as eight years to finish, a project architect has revealed. The store and retail center is slatted to be designed first. John Savo of NBBJ recently told the city board that “On the block likely to be developed first, a small bridge would link the tower to a 40,000-square-foot auditorium type of building seating 2,000 that Amazon plans to build along Lenora Street, Savo said. The online retailer’s current Seattle offices lack such a meeting space, he added. It would be “more like a ballroom in a hotel” than an auditorium. The block closest to downtown — between Sixth, Seventh and Westlake avenues and Virginia and Lenora streets — probably would be developed first”, he added.
It is only a matter of time before Amazon starts their retail store and the plans for its construction are being finalized. This would give them an excellent place to sell their eBooks from their fledgling publishing division and also give incentives for authors who use Amazon Create Space and Kindle Direct Publishing. Patrons would even be able to purchase audiobooks and gain access to the internet via WIFI. Amazon has been pioneering NFC technology famously over last holiday season where customers could scan products and get cheaper deals on Amazon. Likely the company will introduce this type of technology in their stores for people to buy digital content right on their devices.
Don’t forget, Amazon is paving the way for a solid infrastructure right now. They recently introduced a Locker type system in Seattle and now Washington. This gives people a physical place to visit to pick up their online purchases. Slowly but surely they are laying down a foundation for a physical empire that is smaller in scale.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.