Is Amazon Planning to Open Hundreds of Actual Bookstores?

The rumor comes from the CEO of a large mall operator.

Photo via Wikipedia (cc)

It’s like a scene out of a dystopian novel: A massive corporation wipes out a business, only to replace it with its own nationwide chain. Except it’s actually happening. Amazon, whose online retail database has certainly played a role in the demise of national and independent booksellers, is reportedly planning to open as many as 400 bookstores in the future.

The news comes from Sandeep Mathrani, the CEO of General Growth Properties, a nationwide shopping mall operator. “You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400,” he said in a call on Tuesday.

However, this is still all just a rumor—according to Gizmodo, anonymous sources from Amazon have expressed scorn for the “misleading” nature of these speculations. There has yet to be confirmation of any concrete plans to expand into physical retail spaces.

This will not be the first time Amazon opens a real, in-the-flesh store: In November, the company opened a single brick-and-mortar bookshop in Seattle, which certainly raised many eyebrows. The store offered a shopping experience that mimicked Amazon’s online catalog: Books were displayed by cover, rather than the spine, and were accompanied by a placard providing the star rating of each title and a customer review. All prices matched those of the online store.

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