It’s circulating in online discussions that in this day and age, the time of physical stores with branches in the #Real World to buy products from is nearly at an end. One needs to look no further in the worrying trend of numerous retailers that have been closing up their brick and mortar stores across America.

This decline, of course, has been blamed on the online marketplace industry that has reduced the chore of shopping to a few minutes on a computer or smartphone screen. #Amazon tends to be touted as one of the biggest offenders to the “fall” of real stores, but something of reversal had happened recently when they opened a #Brick And Mortar store themselves.

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Back to the beginning

This week marks the opening of an Amazon store at a luxury shopping complex in New York’s Columbus Circle. This new store is only a few blocks away from Apple and Microsoft’s respective flagship stores, and many people who knew Amazon only as an online retail platform would assume that their similar brand naming hints at similar functions. However, this brick and mortar will serve the same function that Amazon used to do from its humblest beginnings as “Cadabra” way back in 1994: a bookstore.

Amazon Books vice president Jennifer Cast notes that their company from its online bookseller roots has collected some 20 years’ worth of information on published books and their ratings. Add to that their “passionate” millions of customers and they’ve got a winning combination.

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"It really is a different way to surface great books," spoke Cast of this Amazon Books, actually the seventh in their line of brick and mortar stores. The online retail giant plans to open three new branches of them total in the New York locale, with Columbus Circle being the first and followed by two others in 34th Midtown and nearby Paramus, NJ.

Inside a real-world Amazon store

The first NY Amazon Books store is about 4,000 square feet wide and has about 3,000 books on display, covers up. The sort of books available on the store is determined by data gathered by Amazon from human curators recommending titles online. But real books aren’t the only products available in the store; they’ve also made space for the brand’s own lineup of digital gadgets. Fire tablets and TV systems, Kindle e-Readers and of course the Echo are up for sale there too.

About the only other significant difference Amazon Books have from traditional bookstores is that only credit cards or Amazon online accounts can be used to pay for purchases. It seems they’re not keen on people forgetting their online presence even here.