Amazon’s second brick-and-mortar bookstore will open in San Diego this summer, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The final sign of the bookstore was just that — a sign. Signage over construction in the University Towne Center Mall in San Diego reads, “Coming this summer — Amazon books.”
Last month, job listings around San Diego looking for booksellers and store managers also tipped off watchers to the company’s intentions to open a physical bookstore in the area.
Amazon spokeswoman Sarah Gelman has now confirmed that Amazon Books in San Diego will be an official Amazon bookstore.
The news is significant. Earlier this year, it was reported that Amazon planned to open 300 to 400 brick-and-mortar bookstores nationwide, based on information shared by General Growth Properties mall operator Sandeep Mathrani during an earnings call. Amazon refused to comment on the report, which it dubbed “rumors and speculation”; Mathrani first stood by, then later disavowed, his claims.
Speculation, aside, Amazon is clearly now expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint. Ironic, considering the online retailer is largely credited with fueling a major crisis in brick-and-mortar bookselling, including the collapse of national retailer Borders Books and Music.
San Diego will be Amazon’s second physical bookstore; its first is in Seattle. The two locations have some similarities.
The San Diego Union Tribune reports, “Located at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, Westfield UTC is an upscale, outdoor shopping mall that matches the style and retailers of University Village, the Seattle-area mall where Amazon opened its first bookstore. That location, which opened its doors in November, spans 7,500 square feet, with approximately 5,500 square feet of retail space.”
The San Diego mall is not operated by Mathrani’s General Growth Properties. There, Amazon Books will be next to a Tesla Store and across from an Apple Store.
That, too, is significant. In Seattle, Amazon Books sells, in addition to print books on paper, Amazon’s various electronic devices. In addition to its Kindle e-readers and tablets, the store sells Amazon’s Echo, the wireless speaker and voice-controlled multipurpose device.
By locating its retailer across from an Apple Store in San Diego, Amazon seems to be inviting comparison shopping.
The closest bookstore to San Diego’s Amazon Books may be a Barnes & Noble, located in a nearby mall.
Is an Amazon bookstore coming to a location near you? I cannot say — Amazon has not responded to my request for comment.
Book news and more; I’m @paperhaus on Twitter