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Rumor: Amazon to launch retail store in Seattle?

Is Amazon, who pioneered the idea of a web-based store front, going to finally go old school? According to a post on the Good E-Reader web site, Amazon is planning to launch a brick-and-mortar store front in Seattle "within the next few months."

The story, which cites unnamed sources, says the store would be a relatively small one, devoted to selling Amazon's line of Kindle eReaders and tablets along with a number of accessories for those devices. It would also sell selections from Amazon Publishing, the book publisher that the company launched a few months ago.

The story adds that this is an experiment for Amazon to see if a chain of retail stores would be profitable for the company. It also says that Amazon "...has already contracted the design through a shell company, which is not unusual for Amazon."

If this story is correct, Amazon would be following in the footsteps of Apple and its highly successful line of retail stores. More recently, Microsoft started opening its own brick-and-mortar stores in a number of locations, with more planned.

It certainly would be ironic if Amazon did indeed launch a retail store front as it has made the case that retail stores, at least for some products, are on the way out.

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