Amazon Books

This article is about the retail chain. For the parent company and website, see For the bookstore in Minneapolis, Minnesota, see Amazon Bookstore Cooperative.
Amazon Books
Industry Retail
Founded November 2, 2015 (2015-11-02)
Number of locations
Products Books, Amazon Echo, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Books is a chain of retail bookstores owned by online retailer The first store opened on November 2, 2015 in the University Village shopping center in Seattle, Washington near the company's headquarters in the same city. A second store near San Diego, California at the Westfield UTC opened in September 2016, and a third in Portland, Oregon the following month.

An additional store in Chicago, Illinois has also been announced, along with plans to build stores in hundreds of malls.


The Seattle location has approximately 5,000 titles stocked on its bookshelves, using shelf space to display the covers of books facing outwards instead of spines; according to Amazon, the decision was made to showcase the authors and their work, rather than efficient use of space. The shelves display positive reviews and star-ratings from the website and prices are matched to online equivalents.[1][2]

The store also sells Amazon electronics, including the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, the Kindle Fire tablet series, the Amazon Echo, and the Amazon Fire TV.[1][3]


The first Amazon Books store, located at the University Village shopping center in Seattle, Washington, opened on November 2, 2015.[1] The store has been described as the first permanent store from Amazon,[4] who opened pop-up shops and pickup outlets on several university campuses in 2015.[5] In February 2016, tech news website Re/code reported that longtime Amazon executive Steve Kessel was leading the retail store initiative, having previously been part of the team to launch the first Amazon Kindle e-reader.[6] During development of the project, it was referred to as "Project Anne" in filings with the city.[7]

On February 2, 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon planned to open as many as 400 bookstores, according to a statement from the CEO of General Growth Properties, a firm that manages over 100 shopping malls in the United States, made during an earnings call;[8][9][10] the statement was retracted by the company the following day.[11]

Job listings posted online in February 2016 indicated the Amazon was planning to open more Books stores in Seattle as well as in San Diego, California in the near future.[12][13] In March 2016, new signage at the Westfield UTC mall in San Diego, California indicated that the second Amazon Books store would open there by the end of the year.[14][15] The store opened on September 7, 2016, without an opening celebration.[16]

A third store at Washington Square near Portland, Oregon was confirmed by the mall and in June 2016,[17] and opened on October 25.[18]

In November, Amazon Books began charging non-Amazon Prime members a separate price for books and other non-electronic products, while Amazon Prime members retained the online price-matched rate.[19]

A fourth store in the Lakeview area of Chicago was announced in August 2016, and is targeted to open in 2017.[20]

The New York Post reported in July 2016 that a fourth store in the Hudson Yards development in Manhattan, New York City, was nearing final negotiations and would open in late 2018 or early 2019.[21]


Local bookstores in the Seattle area described weariness over the physical presence of, with the University Book Store in the U District noting "different spending patterns" two months after the opening of Amazon's store; an Amazon spokesperson dismissed the notion that Amazon Books would interfere with independent bookstores and their operations, stating that "offline retail is a big space with room for lots of winners".[22]

The executive vice president of Half Price Books, a national chain of new and used bookstores, saw the interest that Amazon is showing in expanding brick-and-mortar bookstores as something good for the industry, stating in February 2016 that it was a sign that the "printed word isn't dead".[23]

After the announcement of a third store in Portland, Oregon, CEO Miriam Sontz of local bookstore Powell's Books stated that Amazon's move to open physical stores was acknowledgement that "something special occurs in a physical bookstore that is not replicable online" and that Portland was "filled with book lovers and book buyers", quoting bank robber Willie Sutton's quip that he targeted banks "because that's where the money is".[24]


  1. 1 2 3 Greene, Jay (November 2, 2015). "Amazon opening its first real bookstore — at U-Village". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  2. McGreal, Chris (November 5, 2015). "Amazon boldly goes where no internet bookseller has gone before: the real world". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  3. "Amazon Books". Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  4. Kastrenakes, Jacob (November 2, 2015). "Amazon is opening its first physical bookstore today". The Verge. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  5. Stewart, Janine (October 14, 2015). "Here's where Amazon's next brick-and-mortar store will be". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  6. Del Ray, Jason (February 3, 2016). "Meet the Guy Behind Amazon's Secret Retail Store Plans". Re/code. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  7. Lerman, Rachel (October 8, 2015). "U Village rumors fly that Amazon bookstore is coming". The Seattle Times. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  8. Bensinger, Greg (February 2, 2016). "Amazon Plans Hundreds of Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores, Mall CEO Says". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  9. Machkovech, Sam (February 2, 2016). "Mall CEO claims Amazon Books will open up to 400 physical storefronts". Ars Technica. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  10. Mihalcik, Carrie; Rubin, Ben Fox (February 2, 2016). "Amazon's novel idea: Physical bookstores". CNET. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  11. Weise, Elizabeth (February 3, 2016). "Mall owner backtracks from Amazon bookstore statement". USA Today. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  12. González, Ángel (February 4, 2016). "Job postings signal Amazon plans to scale up bookstore business". The Seattle Times. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  13. Van Grove, Jennifer; Weisberg, Lori (February 5, 2016). "Amazon hiring for bookstore in San Diego". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  14. Van Grove, Jennifer (March 5, 2016). "Amazon Books to open at UTC in summer". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  15. Cook, John (March 6, 2016). "Signaling more ambitious retail plans, Amazon chooses San Diego for second brick-and-mortar bookstore". GeekWire. Retrieved March 6, 2016.
  16. Van Grove, Jennifer (September 14, 2016). "Amazon Books opens in San Diego". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  17. Marum, Anna (June 17, 2016). "Amazon chooses Portland area for 3rd bookstore". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 17, 2016.
  18. Marum, Anna (October 24, 2016). "Amazon's bookstore at Washington Square: Exclusive sneak peek". OregonLive. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  19. Soper, Taylor (November 1, 2016). "Amazon charges non-Prime members more at physical bookstores, hinting at new retail strategy". GeekWire. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  20. Zumbach, Lauren (August 25, 2016). "Amazon plans to open a Chicago bookstore in Lakeview". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
  21. Gould, Jennifer (July 3, 2016). "Amazon set to rival NYC's bookstores with Hudson Yards spot". New York Post. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  22. Wong, Julia Carrie (January 21, 2016). "Seattle bookstores face new threat from Amazon: a brick-and-mortar location". The Guardian. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  23. Halkias, Maria (February 3, 2016). "What Dallas-based Half Price Books has to say about Amazon opening bookstores: Print is alive". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  24. Cook, John (June 17, 2016). "Amazon venturing onto Powell's home turf, picks Portland for third brick-and-mortar bookstore". GeekWire. Retrieved June 17, 2016.

External links

Coordinates: 47°39′43″N 122°18′01″W / 47.661942°N 122.300194°W / 47.661942; -122.300194

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