Amazon to Open as Many as 400 Bookstores
A major owner of shopping mall properties is at the source of the story that Amazon is making a major move into physical retail space. Fast Company reports:
Amazon, the online retailer that killed off so many independent bookshops, is getting ready to launch its own brick-and-mortar book chain. According to the Wall Street Journal, the CEO of a major mall operator, General Growth Properties, revealed on Tuesday that Amazon intends to launch hundreds of bookstores…
…”We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping,” Amazon Books VP Jennifer Cast said at the time [of the first store opening]. “The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators’ assessments…”
CNBC continues the story:
In November, Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar store in Seattle. Described as a “physical extension of Amazon.com,” Amazon Books offers titles that have been chosen based on the e-commerce site’s own customer ratings and sales.
Amazon has promised that literature sold at Amazon Books will not differ in price from its online price tag.
Amazon reported a huge miss on fourth-quarter earnings last week. The online retail giant reported EPS of $1 per share versus a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $1.56 per share.
Update: A New York Times article downplays — but doesn’t actually deny — the scope of Amazon’s expansion.
…But the company’s plans for physical stores are modest, this person [who spoke on the condition of anonymity] said, especially in comparison with reports of an expansion suggested by an unusual source, the chief of a large shopping mall operator…
…A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment…
We covered the opening of the first store in an article in November 2015