Amazon quietly began selling books in its brick-and-mortar Seattle store, Amazon Books, at list price early this fall. When the store opened last November, all books were sold at Amazon.com’s prices–often significantly less than the publisher-set list prices. With Amazon’s recent phase-out of list prices site-wide, the discrepancy is likely to continue. And after years of bookstore owners bemoaning the “showrooming” trend that followed Amazon’s rise–in which potential customers would enter stores to discover new books, then proceed to look them up on Amazon and, finding a lower price, order them there–the tactic was a good one.
But now, Amazon seems to be more interested in pushing its foot traffic back to the site. Amazon Prime members who visit the physical store are able to access the Amazon.com book prices; those who have yet to sign up for Prime are not....
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