Amazon became one of the world’s most successful companies by encouraging readers to shop online, rather than in traditional bookstores. Now, the online retail giant is going old-school. After the success of its Seattle brick-and-mortar store, Amazon is planning to open a new physical location in San Diego.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, which broke the story earlier this week, Amazon’s arrival in San Diego had been rumored for months – ever since job postings and other hints began to emerge. Now, the secret is out: the company has officially announced the new store, and the store’s future location is covered with a wrap that promises Amazon Books will be “coming this summer.”
Amazon hasn’t revealed a precise opening date yet for the store, which will make its home in the upscale mall Westfield UTC. Westfield UTC is in La Jolla, California, an affluent beachfront neighborhood in San Diego.
San Diego’s Amazon Books store is only the second location of its kind. But could this be the first of many new brick-and-mortar stores for the online retail giant? Earlier this year, reports surfaced that Amazon could be planning hundreds of new physical locations. But the company struck back, calling the reports “rumors and speculation” and insisting that they had no such large-scale expansion plans. One new store is a far cry from the hundreds that the reports promised, but it could be a sign of things to come.
It’s probably a good time for Amazon to get into the physical bookselling business. Bookstores just reported the first annual sales increase since 2007, indicating that print books may be making a comeback after years of losses spurred by changes in reading habits.