<p>Amazon has denied reports that it has embarked on a "secret search for bricks-and-mortar stores" in the UK, in what was thought to be a move to pick up on customer demand for "click and collect" services. </p><p>The original report, which appeared in the <a href="http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/retailin... target="_blank"><em>Sunday Times</em></a> over the weekend (6th December), claimed e-tailer giant was "scouring the country for high-profile sites just as the Borders book chain is shutting up shop".</p><p>But the <a href="http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5hHrjRHHf57xQb6xsI...(Publishers+Lunch+Automat)_content=Google+Reader" target="_blank">Press Association</a> is today (7th December) reporting a denial from the firm. An Amazon spokesman was reported as saying: "We have no plans to open physical stores anywhere in the world."</p><p>Previously, US-based analysts have argued having physical stores could give <a href="http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Desktops-and-Notebooks/5-Ways-Barnes-and-Nobles... target="_blank">Barnes & Noble an advantage over Amazon in the e-reader wars</a>, as it allows consumers to use the device, and read books onsite for free using WiFi.</p><p>However, the <em>Sunday Times</em> suggested Amazon's focus with these stores would be larger goods that are typically difficult to deliver. </p><p>The source was quoted as saying: “When Amazon was just selling books and CDs that fitted easily through the letterbox it was fine to be a web-only business, but now it has branched out into everything from children’s bikes to electricals it believes it could boost sales by having stores that offer a collection point for shoppers. It will probably be an Argos-style operation.”</p>
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