When everything started to get connected to the internet, it was easy to imagine a future where everything would be done through a touchscreen. There have been a few artistic installations where users depict how they imagine the future would be if everyone got to wear a VR headset, which is a technology that might be taking off quite soon. Thankfully, the transition has been a little slower than many expected, so most digital items complement the physical ones that are still available. Online retailer Amazon had a big role in the popularization of eBooks with their Kindle devices and now it has been reported that they could come up with a strategy that seems a little bit odd.
According to Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of the large mall operator General Growth Properties, Amazon is planning to open a large amount of brick and mortar bookstores with a potential goal between 300 and 400 physical bookstores. This comes from a report from the Wall Street Journal, but it also states that there's no way of knowing how Mathrani came up with that number and Amazon hasn't made this news official. Amazon has actually already built a physical bookstore in Seattle, which the company calls "a physical extension of Amazon.com" as books are priced the same as on their website.
This strategy would be quite strange, as Amazon has been extremely successful with their online services. Still, it is a fact that there are some people who just like to shop in physical stores and some companies are building retail stores in malls or as kiosks within some larger stores, although in America online shopping has been adopted quite well. Perhaps Amazon is looking to take after physical businesses now or maybe they could use these physical stores to showcase some of their products like their Kindle Fire tablets, their Fire TV or the Amazon Echo, which is being promoted at the company's first Super Bowl commercial. It's unknown what would cause Amazon to decide to invest in this kind of infrastructure, but opening up physical bookstores would be a great way for Amazon to ensure their reach of products to the consumer.