Amazon may be planning to open up to 400 physical bookshops in the US, according to an executive of a major shopping centre operator.
The online retailer started to sell books the old fashioned way with its first brick-and-mortar store, which opened its doors in Seattle in November 2015.
Hundreds more physical stores could be about to open, according to Sandeep Mathrani, the chief executive of US mall chain General Growth Properties. Mathrani made the comments during a call to analysts after it reported its earnings on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“You've got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores,” Mathrani said.
Mathrani compared the online giant to Bonobos, a fashion retailer, and Warby Parker, an eyewear company, both of which found success online before opening physical stores.
If the rumour is true, Amazon would antagonise rival Barnes & Nobles, the last remaining US bookstore after Waldenbooks, B. Dalton and Borders went out of business in recent years.
Barnes & Nobles, currently the largest retail bookseller in the US, operates 640 stores across the country.
Shares of Barnes & Noble fell more than 5 per cent on Tuesday.
An Amazon spokeswoman said the company does not comment on “rumours and speculation.”
The current “real” store carries around 5,000 books and also sells Amazon devices.
Jennifer Cast, vice president of Amazon Books, said: “We’ve applied 20 years of online bookselling experience to build a store that integrates the benefits of offline and online book shopping.
“The books in our store are selected based on Amazon.com customer ratings, pre-orders, sales, popularity on Goodreads and our curators’ assessments.”
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