The online retailer received a patent earlier this week for a mini-building design that has sent rumbles throughout the retail world — or, more specifically, on several online financial blogs — of a possible brick-and-mortar business venture by the company.
The patent, number D593,208, was originally filed on Oct. 31, 2007, and lists Michael Ausich, Peter Stocker and Stephanie Landry of Seattle as inventors. The relationship between the three and the company was unclear in the patent filing.
And while the designs for the building do resemble a storefront, it’s worth noting that Amazon has also already toyed with pick-up locations in Seattle for its Amazon Fresh delivery service, which it discontinued in February 2008; the patent could, in fact, augur a reprise of those.
I’d like to see more book stores of any kind, to be honest, especially in the UK. Preferably, though, they’d be smart little indies, with cool music (Kings of Convenience playing in the corner?), free coffee, big-ass sofas, and an endless SF and Fantasy section. There’d be comics too. And you’d get all the arty types hanging out there, and I’d run literary-type speed dating events (you ain’t read a book this year, you don’t get laid) and acoustic nights. Cute geek-girl staff for the guys; aloof geek-guy staff for the girls. (Or vice versa if that’s your thing.) Okay, so this is the bookstore I’d like to run then. I’d make an absolute fortune.
Or maybe I’d want it like Black Books, in which case everyone can just leave me alone to drink wine.