Amazon Books opened its first store in the D.C. area in Georgetown on Tuesday, offering a modern take on the brick-and-mortar bookstore. The store sells physical books, e-readers and several Amazon products.
The store is located at 3040 M St. NW.
“Amazon books is all about discovery," Janes said. “We’ve applied 20+ years of customer-focused retail experience to build a store we think integrates the benefits of online and offline.”
Janes said the retail store functions as an extension of the company's website, with products like the Amazon Echo available for a test drive and purchase.
One of the Amazon Books employees shows a customer how to scan the book cover and find more information on the Amazon app, where he can then read more reviews or write a review himself.
The store sells physical books, e-readers, the Alexa device and more.
Some popular books on display have a description that labels them "Amazon's 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime."
Customers can scan items to learn prices using their phones or scanners in the store.
Amazon opened for business in July 1995 selling books and using major book distributors and wholesalers to rapidly fill its orders. More than 20 years later, the company is branching out into brick-and-mortar stores.
"I wish them success because we've lost a lot of bookstores," retired Georgetown resident Yervant Varjabedian, 75, said as he explored the store Tuesday. "I think it's just a good concept."
Those who don't want to check book prices using the Amazon app or their phone can take a book to the price check stations and scan the barcode. All books are displayed to show the covers, not only the spines.
The checkout area of the bookstore features several tablets -- for use by both customers and employees -- right in the middle of two bookshelves filled with books.
Instead of price tags below the books, the store has Amazon-focused messages like facts about ratings and customer reviews. The average star rating for books in the Georgetown store is 4.5 stars, Amazon said in a statement.
Every book in the store is rated four stars or higher by Amazon customers and is a top-seller or a new release, Janes said.
Various signs around the store showed first-time Amazon Books customers the different ways to buy books. One option is to pay with the Amazon app, where people can also search by title to find out where a book is located in the store and how many physical copies remain.
The store features two levels with a cafe and kids area down these stairs.
Amazon Books in Georgetown serves Allegro Coffee at its coffee shop.
The cafe is located next to some of the top local books, on the lower level of the store.
The checkout area is flanked with books to either side and a Kindle display in front of it, showing the best of old-school and modern bookstores.
In addition to the gadgets and books, Amazon also sells Amazon-Books-specific products.
There are about 5,600 titles featured in the Georgetown bookstore. Amazon reviews appear under most of the books.
One store visitor talks to an Amazon employee in front of the Fire TV display.
The store also sells products that do well on the website, like iPhone cases.
Amazon has announced it will open another bookstore this summer in Bethesda, Maryland. The Amazon Books vice president declined to talk about it.
nThe store is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.