Amazon's first physical bookstore has attracted attention. Dan Kurtz, working in independent publishing, fixated on 'human contact' and the curation of content, found the store bizarre. I don't think there is anything bizarre here; this is another calculated step by Amazon to buttress demand for their on-line services. Sam Machkovech, at Ars Technica, I believe, gets it right - this isn't a bookstore in the conventional sense. Amazon is showcasing their hardware and a selection of books, to attract users to buy into their on-line empire. This is consistent with Amazon's hardware strategy of developing hardware as a conduit for, for example, Amazon Prime; selling hardware, in itself, isn't the objective. Hence something like the Amazon Echo can be a bluetooth speaker but also a means to listen to a purchased book from the Amazon owned Audible or to order soap from Amazon.com. The Amazon Fire Phone, which flopped, was criticised for being a window to buy products from Amazon and then a phone.
This showcase approach to the Seattle bookstore is the opposite strategy to a traditional bookseller like Foyles. In the case of Foyles, on-line presence is secondary, if that, and only there to guide customers to their physical store. Foyles know they can't compete with Amazon for price, so focus on in-store experience such as a cafe or organising readings by hosting authors. Amazon, on the other hand, direct customers to utilise their on-line presence, in every conceivable way, including when looking-up the price of items. What we have is the opposite of what many booksellers would view the purpose of a bookstore but that is the point of Amazon's experiment.