An Amazon Books store opened on the North Shore, and I wanted to see how a store without visible pricing could possibly hope to succeed. With my background in bookselling and retail, and as an Amazon Prime member, I was especially interested in learning about how in-store transactions got processed and whether or not that elusive thing known as "Customer Service" would be present.
And I made a commitment to myself not to purchase any books there, since I'm on a personal campaign to jettison those of my existing books that I no longer read or care about but have some market value left (to family for free, or to other readers for as much money as possible on eBay). Books I purchase these days are either ebooks, or Audible books.
So how did it go?
Well, it's a gorgeous store, in the way that I think Apple stores are gorgeous. It doesn't look like an Apple Store, but it does have that same clean, open, thought-through look and feel to it. It's comfortable and it looks like a bookstore.
About a quarter of the store is devoted to Amazon electronics, which allows the customer to interact with Kindle and Alexa hands-on instead of online. Online shopping is a wonderful thing, but you can't see and touch (and interact) with things like you can in a brick-and-mortar store. So in that regard, Amazon Books is a showroom - and it is especially a Prime showroom.
And if you're saying "well I like shopping online because I like to read the comments" all you have to do is open the Amazon app on your smartphone, scan the item, and read the comments. Alternatively, you can take the item you're interested in to one of the scanning stations in the store.
All in all, I was impressed. I didn't ask Alexa any questions, but despite my best intentions, I did buy a book.