Inside the Amazon Books at Columbus Circle.

While at BCV’s New York office this week, my timing coincided with the opening of Amazon’s first brick and mortar bookstore in Manhattan. I stopped by yesterday to experience the new store, located at The Shops at Columbus Circle, to see how Amazon is bringing its retail experience to the physical world.

As the New York Times noted, the company “is bringing its experimental, data-driven approach to physical retail to Midtown Manhattan, the heart of the publishing industry.” Amazon's first New York location is close to Penguin Random House and the headquarters of Simon & Schuster and Hachette, and it has plans for a second city location at 34th Street.

I found the best part of the experience to be that all books feature reviews from staff members or customers. The challenge at Amazon Books is that the collection is curated by sales, not particularly anything else. The architecture selection is especially thin - but probably not deserving of the shelf space.

One moment of merchandising is the book about gilded New York in the window overlooking Columbus Circle. Pride of Place for an actual physical place. 

- Hans Baldauf

The architecture section.

The Gilded Age in New York overlooking Columbus Circle.

A customer review of The Gilded Age in New York.