It’s a city already known for its bookstores, but now, the Strand and Brazenhead may have some unexpected corporate competition. No, it’s not another Barnes & Noble — it’s Amazon. The Seattle-based company is moving east and looking to bring its brick-and-mortar operation to the Big Apple, and it’s set to open in Hudson Yards.
And while the internet business may be fickle and rumors of another West Coast retail store abound, this appears to be no joke — a source tells the New York Post, “I don’t know if the final lease was signed yet, but I know the deal is happening. There’s no way that deal is dying.”
While Amazon has yet to confirm or deny the new location, it has admitted that it’s planning on opening a second store in San Diego. The first was opened late in 2015 in Seattle after much secrecy — in fact, so stealthy was the online retailer about its plans that it code-named the entire operation (as “Project Anne”).
The Seattle location currently presents books IRL in a manner that somewhat reflects their online marketing — selections are supplemented with signs displaying their Amazon.com rating and a customer review, and digital data is used to determined which books should be kept in stock (and which probably won’t be flying off the shelves). But the physical storefront does more than just sell books. It also provides Amazon with a showroom of sorts to show off its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.
A New York City store is by no means beyond the realm of possibility, and indeed, there may be more in the works as well. Back in May, Amazon Jeff Bezos spoke at a shareholder meeting, and noted, “We’re definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don’t know yet. In these early days, it’s all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue.”
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