Amazon's brick-and-mortar bookstore expansion to include Chicago

Amazon has set its sights on Chicago. The online retailer will open Amazon Books, a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The store will be the fourth confirmed location for Amazon Books. The first, in the company's hometown of Seattle, opened in November.

In February, word spread that Amazon planned to open hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores around the country, based on a comment by a mall operator. The online retailer refused to confirm the rumor, and the comment was later withdrawn.

However, Amazon has quietly continued to make plans for opening physical bookstores. One is coming to San Diego and Tigard, Ore., a city near Portland. Both of those stores are scheduled to open later this year.

In July, the New York Post reported that Amazon was planning to open a physical location in Manhattan, although the company has yet to confirm or deny plans for the Big Apple.

The news of the Chicago store was confirmed by Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass, who said, "We are excited to be bringing Amazon Books to Southport in Chicago."

The Chicago location of Amazon Books will be in Chicago's historic Lakeview neighborhood, the home of Wrigley Field and Boystown, the city's largest LGBT community.

It's also within a mile of two independent bookstores, Bookworks and the Gallery Bookstore Ltd., and just over a mile from indie booksellers Unabridged Books and Bookman's Corner.

Independent bookstores have long had an icy relationship with Amazon, which is frequently blamed for lagging sales in small businesses. Amazon raised eyebrows in the bookselling community earlier this year after plans for its Oregon bookstore — which will be 10 miles from indie retailer Powell's — were revealed.

The Seattle location of Amazon Books is the only one that has opened for business. The store sells not just books, but Amazon devices such as the Kindle e-reader and Fire TV.

Amazon's Chicago store, which will be in the home of a now-closed Irish-themed pub, is set to open in 2017.

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