Books with covers facing out have a better chance of being sold.
Online retail giant, Amazon, just opened a brick and mortar bookstore in University Station, Seattle, Washington. This location is within a blocks of the Amazon corporate office.
The new bookstore has 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space and another 2,000 sq. ft. of storage for 5,000 to 6,000 book titles. The books will come from Amazon's vast book inventory of primarily best sellers.
One of the biggest stock winners on Wall Street in 2015 was Amazon. During 2015 the Amazon stock grew at a whopping 120%. The stock is now trading above $600 dollars per share. Part of this retail energy comes from the core business model of conquering the internet retail market with a strategy of very low profit rates. The other main reason for its high stock trading is due to the fact that the company, at its heart, is a press release company, always telling the world its latest and newest strategy.
A new feature for book retail will be the strategy of showing each book face outward. In the old days before books were listed by independent book dealers, most books were shelved with only the binding showing. This allowed a normal shelf to handle 40 to 50 books for display. This new strategy of showing book faces outward will greatly reduce number of books per shelf. However, a higher rate of impulse shopping will take place.
A well known fact of the book world is that books with their cover facing toward the customer will likely have a 10% to 20% better chance of selling as opposed to showing only the binding.
The bigger issue is the question "Will this brick and mortar store become the template for Amazon to open up a chain of retail bookstores to challenge Barnes and Noble existing stores?"
Two years ago, Borders Bookstores closed, leaving the brick and mortar book market to Barnes & Noble with 647 stores and in second place, the Birmingham Alabama based Books-A-Million, (aka BAM!) with 200 stores.
Wall Street is watching closely the sales of Barnes & Noble from the 2015 Christmas season. One of the best guessing games on the minds of many financial experts on Wall Street will be if 2016 will see the closing of Barnes & Noble Bookstores as a result of a cut throat battle with Amazon.
Time and readers will tell the answer to this question.