Amazon's First East Coast Bookstore Opens In Mass.
February 28, 2017
By Zeninjor Enwemeka
Amazon now has a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Massachusetts.
The online retailer opened a 5,800 square foot store Tuesday at Legacy Place in Dedham — the company's first bookstore on the East Coast. The Massachusetts store joins Amazon's three other locations on the West Coast.
The store looks like a typical bookstore. It has everything from children's books to fiction to books about food and sports. There's also a coffee shop. On opening day, a steady stream of customers wandered in to browse the shelves or grab coffee.
Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass said the store is really an extension of the company's online business, and offers a bit of that experience to help customers discover new books in person.
"Beneath every book is a review card, where we include a little bit more information with some of those things that you're familiar with at Amazon.com," Bass said. "So, each book includes a review from a customer and it also shares the star rating. And all of the books featured in this store are four stars and above out of five stars."
The store's selection of about 5,700 books is based on browsing and buying data from Amazon's website, including customer reviews and pre-order sales, as well as what's popular on Goodreads, an Amazon-owned book review site.
Susan Crowley, of Westwood, browsed for books at the new Amazon bookstore in Dedham. "I love books and just having Amazon here sounded so great," she said. "So I wanted to see what it's all about. And I love having it so close to home." (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
At the store, customers can also try out Kindles and other Amazon devices they might want to buy.
That part of the store was very appealing to Michael O'Brien of Winchester, who described himself as "technology challenged." He said he likes that he could browse the devices and get help setting them up.
"To have them have it here is good because you're able to get their products in the store versus going through a computer and having to wait. So it's pretty cool," O'Brien said.
But it's the feel of a bookstore and being able to walk up and down aisles of books that many customers were excited about on Tuesday.
"I'm very excited. I love bookstores," said 23-year-old Samantha Lupoli, who works at Legacy Place and stopped by Amazon Books with her niece. "I love coming to a bookstore and getting a coffee and being able to sit down and have like an hour to myself and just read. I love it."
Lupoli said Amazon is likely tapping into the desires of people like her who miss being able to go to a Borders.
"While it is convenient to do it online, especially when you have little ones," she said. "Like I know my 8-year-old niece, she loves going and picking out books in a bookstore, and it's not as fun swiping on a screen to find your book. It's more fun to run and have something tangible that you can grab and just run home with."
Samantha Lupoli, a makeup artist from Hyde Park, shopped for books with her 21-month-old niece Elyse Deroma. Lupoli said she wanted to grab some children's books for her other nieces before she went to work. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
|Peter H. Reynolds, owner of The Blue Bunny Bookstore in Dedham stands surrounded by books on the day Amazon also opened a bookstore in the town. He said independent bookstores are an endangered species and need to be supported so they can stick around. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)|
|The Blue Bunny Bookstore in Dedham, Mass. Owner Peter H. Reynolds said independent bookstores have "heart and soul" and offer the community a different experience than a corporate bookstore. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)|
Zeninjor Enwemeka Digital Reporter