According to the latest reports, probably not. But read on…
When you ask Amazon, they will simply reply “no comment” to the rumors that they’re planning to open 300 to 400 brick-and-mortar bookstores. But is that because it’s not true or because the company isn’t ready to let the cat out of the bag? When it opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, the process was kept very, very quiet.
The speculation arose from a comment by General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani, who said Tuesday, “You’ve got Amazon opening bricks-and-mortar bookstores, and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores.” Mathrani was on a conference call about earnings; General Growth Properties owns 120 retail locations, including the Glendale Galleria.
About 24 hours later, Mathrani changed his mind. A statement was posted on the company’s website reading: “General Growth Properties Chief Executive Officer Mathrani has indicated that a statement he made concerning Amazon during GGP’s conference call held on February 2, 2016, was not intended to represent Amazon’s plans.”
Nevertheless, the idea that the online retailer credited with the downfall of the American brick-and-mortar bookstore business might actually be getting into the brick-and-mortar business, big time, is too irresistable to not contemplate.