1st Hand Review of 1st Amazon Bookstore in SF Bay Area

Amazon Books

It was just three days ago that Amazon (AMZN) opened up its first bookstore in the San Francisco area. In case you haven’t heard, Amazon is giving Barnes & Noble (BKS) a (bigger) run for its money, by opening up bricks and mortar establishments, better known as retail stores.

The shop that I visited is located in Walnut Creek, California, a fairly wealthy suburb near San Francisco, just a 40 minute ride on BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

In spite of the fact that Amazon is headquartered in the state of Washington, only two Amazon Books stores are located there, yet there are now four in California. The other three are in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Jose. The rest are located in Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New Jersey.

The store I visited is located at 1265 Broadway Plaza and is a little hard to find, but if you can find the kate spade shop, it is next door. And if you can find the Tesla (TSLA) store, it is across the street. The first thing I noticed was that the place was packed. Of course, the space wasn’t as big as the two-story building Barnes & Noble had occupied when they were located in Walnut Creek, but they had shut down in January of last year.

I noticed all the usual categories for books that you would find in any decent size bookstore, but there were a few new ones, such as The Books with Over 10,000 Reviews. Included in that section were the following books:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

In addition, there were the usual non-book Amazon products for sale, such as the Kindle, the Echo, and other Alexa devices.

There was also a Peet’s Coffee located within the store, for shoppers who were thirsty, hungry, or both.

On display at the very front of the store, was a group of books called Most Wished-For Books. Included was the book, The Rooster Bar by John Grisham.

One book had a whole display all to itself right by the front door: Turtles All the Way Down by John Green.

All in all, it was a fun adventure to see what was being offered and how strong the patronage was. It will be interesting to see where the next shop will open, and how many more Amazon Books shops there will be.

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