Amazon Plans to Open as Many as 400 Bookstores, Mall CEO Says

Inside The First Amazon.com Inc. Brick And Mortar Bookstore

A customer shops at Amazon Books in Seattle, Wash.

Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg

Amazon.com Inc., the world’s biggest online retailer, plans to open from 300 to 400 bookstores, according to Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of General Growth Properties Inc., which owns and operates shopping malls.

Mathrani revealed Amazon’s plan in response to questions about mall traffic during a conference call Tuesday to discuss General Growth’s earnings.

Amazon in November opened its first book store in Seattle, revealing brick-and-mortar ambitions for the e-commerce giant that got its start selling books online. The store also prominently features Amazon gadgets such as the voice-activated Echo speaker and Fire TV streaming device.

“This is a consumer electronics store housed in bookstore clothing,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. in Los Angeles. “One of the reasons people think Best Buy will be around forever is because most people are too stupid or too scared to buy electronics without first seeing them.”

Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass declined to comment.

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