WSJ: Amazon Plans To Open 300–400 More Physical Bookstores
Report cites CEO of mall operator. Amazon opened first store in Seattle last year.
Amazon is planning a major expansion of hundreds of new physical bookstores, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ cites comments made today on an earnings call by Sandeep Mathrani, the CEO of Chicago-based mall operator General Growth Properties Inc.
“You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400,” said Mr. Mathrani in response to a question about mall traffic.
Amazon declined to give the WSJ a comment on Mathrani’s statement.
Amazon opened its first retail store this past November in Seattle. The shop sells books and a selection of Amazon devices, including the Kindle, Echo and Fire tablet.
If you’re wondering why Amazon would consider such a big expansion into brick-and-mortar stores, the WSJ speculates a number of reasons, from using the stores as mini-warehouses (to help speed up its home delivery service) to making it easier for the company to handle returns. There’s another big reason: According to the Commerce Dept., only 7.4 percent of retail sales in Q3 last year happened online.
Postscript, February 4: Internet Retailer is now reporting that Amazon is planning to open stores “in at least 10 major markets.” The report cites a “retail real estate executive.”