Just when we thought bookstores were passé, Amazon is planning to open hundreds, according to reports from the CEO of General Growth Properties, Inc., one of America’s largest shopping mall operators. The retail giant could be planning to open between 300 and 400 locations across the U.S.
These would not be Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar bookstores. The company opened one in Seattle in November 2015, but with a non-traditional setup. Books were not priced; instead customers scanned them with an Amazon app on their phone, though prices in the store were the same as online. Each title also featured an average star-based rating system and was displayed with covers facing customers instead of spines out.
Having theoretically driven out B. Dalton, Borders, Waldenbooks and countless mom-and-pop bookstores, the timing of Amazon’s foray into the physical bookstore world seems to be of a piece with the giant’s latest rapid fire acquisitions across multiple retail segments.
Amazon has declined to comment on its plans, according to The New York Times and other news reports.