A new report suggests that Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) is opening a small, Kindle-focused retail store in Seattle to test whether the concept could be expanded to other markets.
The blog Good E-Reader reports “Amazon sources close to the situation” told it the company is rolling out a “boutique”-type store in Seattle “within the next few months…before the end of the year.”
According to the report, the store would sell “books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives…[Kindle] e-readers and tablets.” Amazon does not currently have a line of books called “Amazon Exclusives.” This post may refer to Amazon Publishing titles from Amazon’s various imprints, including the titles from Larry Kirshbaum’s New York-based imprint that is launching this fall.
Also, the report says, “Their intention is to mainly hustle their entire line of Kindle e-Readers and the Kindle Fire. They also will be stocking a ton of accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and USB adapters.”
The report comes at the same time as bookstore chains Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), Books-A-Million and Canada’s Indigo are saying they will not carry Amazon Publishing titles in their stores, though it is unclear how that boycott will actually be carried out.
Other sources have previously suggested that Amazon might open a retail store. In December 2011, Jason Calacanis wrote that he had heard “an interesting piece of gossip from a very credible source” that Amazon was going to open a chain of retail stores. He went on to speculate that they would be “big, Costco-like stores,” but it was unclear why he assumed that Costco would be a model.
In 2009, The Street found an Amazon patent for “a mini-building design” that had apparently been filed in 2007. So rumors like this have been going around for over four years, although there is more detail in Good E-Reader’s post.
I’ve asked Amazon for a comment and will update the post if I hear back.