According to new reports, e-commerce giant Amazon is looking to expand to brink-and-mortar retail bookstores.
First reported by the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is believed to be planning to open hundreds of bookstores across the country. "You've got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400," said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO of mall operator General Growth Properties, during an earnings call on Tuesday. Mathrani did not reveal how he heard about Amazon's bookstore plans and General Growth Properties declined to comment further on the matter. Mathrani mentioned several other online retailers that have begun to open physical stores, but Amazon's bookstores stood out.
The idea of brick-and-mortar Amazon bookstores is not entirely new. In November, Amazon opened one such location in its hometown of Seattle. Called Amazon Books, the Seattle store is described as a "physical extension" of the company's online presence. "We've applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping," said Amazon. "The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads, and our curators' assessments." All books in the store are priced the same as online and customers can choose whether they want to purchase the physical copy in-store, online or download the eBook. Customers can also test drive Amazon devices at Amazon Books, including Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and Fire Tablet. Amazon has not commented on Mathrani's remark at this time.
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