Amazon has partnered with Italian bookstore chain Giunti al Punto to mix digital and physical reading with a new bookstore concept.
"Amazon and leading Italian bookstore chain Giunti announced an exclusive agreement to launch an innovative bookstore model, blending digital and physical reading together, and offering Giunti customers access to a wide selection of Amazon products. Italian customers will be able to discover and buy Kindle e-readers in 170 Giunti al Punto bookstores by the end of the summer. Giunti booksellers will help readers find print or digital books they want that are most suitable for their literary tastes", says Amazon.
The online retailer further explains, "later this year and with the support of Amazon, Giunti al Punto bookstores will open an online shop where its customers will have access to a vast selection of books, physical media products and toys available on Amazon.it. Customers of the Giunti online shop will benefit from a great customer experience from Amazon logistics, delivery and customer service. Moreover, for every purchase on the new Giunti online shop, customers will also earn Giunti points, which can be converted into vouchers and spent in the Giunti al Punto physical bookstores".
Sadly, it seems like we know where this is heading - bigger fish eat smaller ones and Amazon is the big fish. Digital reading is the future and partnering with a physical bookstore will only delay the inevitable demise of the brick-and-mortar, paper-book dinosaur; it is simple evolution.
Not all is bad though, I suppose for the time being, this is a symbiotic relationship that should expose people to the wonders of e-readers. Plus, starting today, Giunti al Punto customers who buy a Kindle will be rewarded with five free e-books from the Giunti catalogue. Molto bene!