UPDATED: 2:50PM 10/4/15

Amazon opened its first retail bookstore at University Village on Tuesday, which is named Amazon Books (see pictures of the store below). The store opening brings the largest online seller of books to the retail world. The store is first and foremost a bookstore, but is also a showcase for Amazon’s digital products, such as the Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, and Fire TV streaming-media devices.

Downtown Bellevue has seen Borders and B.Dalton close in the Bellevue Collection within the past decade. Borders, which occupied 28,000 sq. ft. closed their Bellevue store in 2005. Barnes & Noble and The University Book Store are the last remaining bookstores in downtown Bellevue. Barnes & Noble from a corporate perspective has struggled in recent years and appears to be hanging on by a thread as they compete with online retailers that have low margins.

The heavily trafficked shopping areas in Bellevue, specifically Bellevue Square are lacking a bookstore. If Amazon continues to add retail stores Bellevue Square would present itself as a prime candidate for an Amazon Books store, as it currently lacks the category.

Amazon’s bookstore strategy is unique in many ways. First, the stores are much smaller than past competitors typically have built – the University Village store is 7,500 sq. ft. compared to the 28,000 sq. ft. that Borders used to occupy. Second, the company has an incredible amount of data to pull from such as best sellers in specific categories, as well as highest ratings to choose the books to feature within the store. And third, the pricing for the books are same as the Amazon website. This allows customers the peace of mind that they are getting a fair deal.

So, Amazon if you’re planning to expand your Amazon Books experiment we hope that you look East.
University Village Amazon Books
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  1. Get out much ? ” Barnes and Noble is the last remaining bookstore in downtown Bellevue ” isn’t quite accurate . We shop at The University Bookstore on a weekly basis, so I know it is still there .They provide excellent service , gift wrapping, custom orders or transfers , and have a coffee shop in the same building. We support them and will continue to do so .

  2. @Kay, you’re definitely right. The University Book Store has a great selection and environment. This was somewhat of an oversight, but it’s also half a shop and restaurant. I’ll update an incorporate this into the article! Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Don’t forget Bellevues 1/2 price books at Crossroads.

  4. 1/2 books isn’t in downtown Bellevue.

  5. Is University village in downtown Bellevue? I thought it was in Seattle?