Texas' First Amazon Books Store Opens in Austin With Better Prices for Prime Members

The physical world of Amazon Books has made it to Texas. The online retailer today opens its first store so far this year and it's in Austin's Domain Northside.The store is designed to hold all the books considered great reads by Austinites and more put together by a team that culls customers' online preferences to fill the racks with books. All books face out in Amazon's version of a bookstore. Below the book is a review card saying why customers said they loved the read.Prices are on the back of books and there are price scanners around the 4,800-square-foot store, but Prime members are encouraged to bring their phones to find their prices, said Mariana Garavaglia, director of stores for Amazon Books. "Prime members get the same prices in stores and online."The stores are all about discovery, "the voice of the customer" and more than 20 years of online retailing experience, she said. Amazon Books has a team of curators who decide on what's on the shelf by looking at customer reviews, ratings, Kindle e-book reading behavior, sales and pre-orders, plus "the team's depth of knowledge and passion for books," she said. On average, books in the stores have a rating of 4.3 stars. Stores also stock "hidden gems," which Garavaglia said, is similar to the online experience where shoppers are alerted to lesser known books with similar tones, settings or plots. All stores have local features. Austin has a children's section andAmazon opened its first bookstore in its headquarters city of Seattle in 2015 and now has 14 in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington. Other planned stores for this year are also in new markets: Long Tree, Colorado and its first two in the Washington D.C. area, in Georgetown and Bethesda, Md.  Continue reading...

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