It can be difficult to recall life before Amazon, when we had to schlep to the store for everything from diapers to duvets to dental floss. But there's one thing we kinda' miss about the pre-e-commerce world: perusing an actual bookstore, where we'd get to flip through old paperbacks, new releases, and glossy magazines for as long as our pre-kid schedule allowed (which, trust us, was long). Well, here's some big bookstore news (a phrase uttered so infrequently you've probably never heard it before): There's a new bookstore coming to Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus and, in a plot twist fit for fiction, it's actually being opened by a brick-and-mortar book vendor's biggest enemy. You guessed it, Amazon.
Turns out Amazon has had grand plans for bringing back physical book stores for a while now, and has already opened four stores (straightforwardly called Amazon Books) in four states. The shop will be the online retail giant's first in New Jersey, and there's one planned for Manhattan's Columbus Circle, too.
Considering it’s a multi-billion-dollar corporation, it makes sense that Amazon's shops have some cool features that set them apart. The company takes advantage of its own data – including customer ratings, pre-orders, and sales -- as well as popularity on book rec site Goodreads to choose which books to feature. Each book in the store is displayed with a review card with the Amazon.com customer rating and a review, so you don't have to pull out your smart phone for research. You can buy the books right there (they're priced the same as on the website for Amazon Prime members, while non-Prime members pay list price), or look a few over and then buy them later online. You can also give Amazon devices like Echo, Kindle, and Fire tablet and TV a spin to see if you want to take one home (those are priced the same as online for everyone).
We'll keep you posted on the opening date … and whether or not Netflix plans to open a video rental store next.