Amazon is planning to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City’s Hudson Yards, according to The New York Post. An unnamed source told the newspaper that the bookstore, scheduled to open in 2018 or 2019, is all but a done deal.
The Hudson Yards outpost would be the fourth physical bookstore location for Amazon. Last fall, the company opened its first bookstore in its hometown of Seattle, amid secrecy and anticipation. Just four months after opening the flagship store, Amazon confirmed a San Diego location was in the works. In June, plans for a Portland bookstore surfaced.
New York City would be Amazon’s first East Coast outpost. “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” said an Amazon spokesperson when contacted by GeekWire about the New York Post report.
Amazon’s decision to branch out into physical retail raised some eyebrows when rumors about the Seattle store first emerged. This was, after all, the company that caused many traditional retailers (booksellers in particular) to go belly up. But the company’s bullish attitude toward the physical bookstores suggests that the experiment was a success, in Amazon’s eyes. In addition to helping sell books, the stores also serve as showrooms for Fire devices — allowing Amazon to compete with Apple and Microsoft on the same playing field.
Independent retailers, like Portland’s Powell’s Books, now face additional competition from Amazon — this time on their turf. If the e-tailer moves forward with plans for a New York location, it would mean a formidable new competitor for the city’s myriad independent bookstores.