Could an Amazon Store Be Coming to Your Town? I recently heard that Amazon is looking at opening their first brick-and-mortar store in the Seattle area later this year. In it, they’ll offer their higher-end products and Amazon exclusives, such as the Kindle Fire tablet.

While this will be the first Amazon-branded store, there’s no doubt that other stores will quickly follow—possibly even one in your town. What’s driving Amazon to do this? The answer is simple: Apple and the success of the Apple stores. It will be interesting to see if Amazon simply does a copy of Apple, or if Amazon tries to innovate, do something unique, and, once again, raise the bar on retailing.

As they make this bold move, my advice to Amazon is this: You need to innovate; you can’t copy. Contrary to popular belief, copying what other companies are doing and competing with them is counterproductive, because you’re making yourself too much like everyone else. Even when you’re in the lead, someone else eventually matches you. Unfortunately, the majority of companies are so focused on copying and competing that they’re locked in a losing battle—a vicious cycle of one-upmanship.

A better idea is to seek advantage. That means redefining and reinventing your company, your products, or your services so you can jump ahead and stay ahead. It’s about moving beyond the competition by nurturing, promoting, and enhancing innovation and original thinking—both individually and within the organization. In other words, for Amazon to succeed at this venture, they have to innovate…again.

Article first published as Could an Amazon Store Be Coming to Your Town? on Technorati.