On Monday, Amazon's Whole Foods acquisition became official, giving it access to about 470 stores, and on Tuesday, the company opened its eleventh Amazon Books store at Herald Square in New York. This is the second Amazon Books store in the Big Apple and third Amazon Books store that features a coffee shop (after the Boston and Chicago location). The chain of bookstores has expanded rapidly considering at this time last year there was just a single location in Seattle, where the company is headquartered.
In addition to this new store, Amazon Books has locations in Seattle, Wash., San Diego, Calif., Portland, Ore., Dedham, Mass., New York City at Columbus Circle, Chicago, Ill., Lynnfield, Mass., Paramus, N.J., Bellevue, Wash., and San Jose, Calif. Additional stores will open by the end of the year in Walnut Creek, Calif., and Los Angeles, Calif.
The store located at 7 34th St. is about 5,200 square feet, which is larger than the 4,000 square-foot location at Columbus Circle. The cafe in the store sells coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as a variety of pastries and snacks, including wraps and salads. The store features about 3,700 unique titles, some of which are organized in unique groupings, such as "Page Turners: Books Kindle Readers Finish in 3 Days or Less" or "Most-Wished-For-Books on Amazon.com."
Amazon Books stores are another way that Amazon has improved the shopping experience for customers by providing a better way to discover good books, said Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books. The store only displays books that are rated 4 stars and above on its website as a way to offer top selections for customers. Cast said that the stores are not data driven or algorithmic. Instead, the books are chosen by its customers who rate the books online, as well as by Amazon Books curators that pick from the 4-star rated books.
"Humans are choosing the books," she said. "And if the books don't sell, then they don't stay."
Like Whole Foods stores, the Amazon Books stores also display the company's line of hardware products from the Amazon Fire TV to the Kindle line to the new Amazon Echo Show. The bookstores also display a wide variety of knock products that are also highly rated on Amazon.com. Here are seven of the most interesting products we found in the new Amazon Books store in New York.
Buy it on Amazon: $33.19
This an alarm clock that's impossible to sleep through. The device has flashing alert lights, shakes your bed and beeps loudly to get you up on time.
The review card under the clock reads: "This alarm is no joke. I often find myself waking up before the alarm even goes off due to what I believe is almost fear. Imagine someone putting a jack hammer to your bed and the loudest alarm you can imagine going off. If you can sleep through this then you may not be alive." (Review by: LoveAmazonAZ)
Buy it on Amazon: $23.99
This stainless steel YETI Rambler keeps your iced tea cold and your fresh coffee hot.
The review card under the Yeti reads: "This is a wonderful product and works great! I love that this is dishwasher safe, so I do not have to hand wash it. This keeps my beverages cold or hot for hours and it does not sweat." (Review by: Kelsey)
Buy it on Amazon: $229.99
The Amazon Echo Show can do everything the original Amazon Echo can do plus it has a touchscreen to view recipes and other web pages, as well as to video chat. The Echo Show can answer questions about the weather, provide news updates, find recipes, play music, and turn on compatible smart home devices.
Buy it on Amazon: $29.99
Amazon is piggy-backing on the hype behind the hit Wonder Woman film with this light up alarm clock in the shape of a LEGO Wonder Woman. The minifigure is 9.5 inches tall and has movable arms and legs.
The review card under the alarm clock reads: "I'm a huge Wonder Woman fan. OMG this is sooooo adorable. She's soooo darn cute. Her arms and legs move. You can stand her up or sit her down. You have to take off her hair to set the time and alarm and when you push her head down, she lights up. I love her." (Review by: Nixie)
If you find a book to read, you can step into the connected coffee shop for a pick-me-up and a quiet space to read and people watch out the window. The cafe features coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters, as well as cookies, pastries, salads, and sandwiches.
Buy it on Amazon: $7.99
If you're having a jazz-themed party, pick up this ice tray that makes ice cubes in the shape of guitars. When the ice cubes melt, you're left with a stir sticks in the shape of the arm of a guitar.
The review card under the item reads: "Anyone that loves the music produced by the Beatles during this amazingly creative period will probably love this box set. . . it's a treasure trove of memories and definitely worth acquiring."
Buy it on Amazon: $14.99
This portable straw can be used to filter water while hiking, camping, and traveling. The straw's sealed bag makes it easy to store for emergencies.