You’ve heard some version of the rumors by now. Amazon, online giga-retailer to us all, intends to open brick-and-mortar bookstores that may or may not expand upon the ideas found in the Seattle bookstore it opened in 2015. (That is, offering book prices that match the big, big discounts on the website.) Numerous media sources quote a figure of 300-400 new stores, though all the stories add the caveat no one has any firm idea on numbers. In fact, the “300-400” being thrown around seems to come from a single source in the mall operator industry. That’s less than rock solid evidence.
Still, humanity has to refill the Internet with something each morning, and everyone’s in on speculation about the potential of Amazon landing in hundreds of retail corridors.
Wiser or at least more thoughtful minds seem to have reach a shaky consensus in the last twelve hours: these retail outlets will in fact merely front a system of warehouses that will help Amazon distribute its products and cut the billion dollars or so in shipping costs it must pay each year to FedEx, UPS, and the like. Some people have also proposed that the sites will serve as hubs for Amazon’s fleet of delivery drones.