Amazon.com, the online “everything store,” opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle late last year.
The company called it a “physical extension of Amazon.com”. For all intent and purposes, it looks just like a regular bookstore, except prices are the same as they are on the site.
Now, a few months after that store’s debut, it looks like Amazon might be thinking of expanding the concept -- to the tune of 300 to 400 physical stores.
Word of the move didn’t come from Amazon, though, but from Sandeep Marthrani, the CEO of the mall operator General Growth Properties. During a conference calls with analysts, Marthrani let the news slip.
Why would this impact brick-and-mortar booksellers from Barnes & Noble to independent bookstores? What is driving Amazon’s decision to expand in the physical retail space?
John Mutter, editor in chief and co-founder of Shelf Awareness, which publishes an email newsletter for booksellers, librarians and book readers