Amazon is reportedly planning to open hundreds of bookstores. Here’s why.

In November, Amazon opened its first bookstore, and reports from the CEO of one of America’s largest shopping mall operators Tuesday afternoon suggest that the company is prepared to open several hundred new ones across the country. This prompted many to ask why the company that destroyed the physical bookstore industry would possibly want to operate a physical bookstore.

Part of the answer is that, as the announcement of the original store location said, “At Amazon Books, you can also test drive Amazon’s devices,” meaning Kindles, Echos, Fire TVs, and Fire Tablets “are available for you to explore, and Amazon device experts will be on hand to answer questions and to show the products in action.” Apple has physical retail stores for its digital devices, as do (albeit less successfully) Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung. Since Amazon makes Amazon-branded devices, why shouldn’t it have a store too?

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