Amazon's Bizarre Bazaar

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“Best Book Club Ever,” read one sign inside Amazon Books at Seattle’s University Village this weekend. On the bookshelves below it were products including an electric 1.5-liter ceramic kettle, a sugar dispenser, and a marble cheese slicer.

Elsewhere in the store, shoppers browsed items as varied as a plush baby shark, a Lite Brite, Funko figurines, a USB mic, game consoles, a smart fitness scale, a WiFi router, and kitchen scissors.

There was not, as far as I could tell, a kitchen sink.

Yes, there were books in this bookstore. But they were surrounded by a cacophony of commerce. Looking around at the seemingly random array of products, it felt like a bookstore subsumed by a variety store — an experiment gone awry, or more likely, an approach influenced by two different executive regimes.

No wonder Amazon is pulling the plug, I thought to myself.

Listen to the full story on this episode of the GeekWire Podcast, or read it here, as published on GeekWire on March 7, 2022: Amazon’s bizarre bazaar: Strange final chapter for tech giant’s first bricks-and-mortar bookstore

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