If you're world leader in e-commerce, why might you make a go of it in the physical world? That's the question being posed now that Amazon is reportedly scouting out shop locations in Britain.
Buy the Kindle AND interact with another human being.
The Times of London says that "Amazon wants to cash in on rising customer demand for click and collect services where shoppers buy online and then pick up their goods from a nearby store." While TechFlash speculates that "brick-and-mortar shops could also be a way for Amazon to display and demo its Kindle electronic readers."
Both reasons are likely. Probably close to the whole truth, too. Still, it'd be a lot more fun if Jeff Bezos said "We're just messing with Wal-Mart."