In a turn of events that will have Barnes and Noble shaking in its boots, Amazon.com is planning to open up 400 physical bookstores, according to an executive of a major U.S. mall and Reuters.
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This isn't the first time that they have contemplated expanding to more brick-and-mortar stores, as they have just recently opened up a bookstore in Seattle, its home city. However, the expansion hasn't been confirmed by the web giant, especially because they will likely face backlash from smaller bookstores and Barnes and Noble.
"You've got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400 bookstores," Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive of General Growth Properties Inc (GGP.N), said on Tuesday, responding to an analyst's question after it reported earnings.
Mathrani said that he believes the plan is similar to that of clothing retailer Bonobos or Warby Parker, both of which have success both online and in physical locations.
Amazon has said that they will not respond to "rumors and speculation" on the topic.
Amazon originally got its start as a bookseller, but now they offer everything from home goods and food to music and television programing. They are even part of the reason that physical book sales are down, thanks to the popular e-reader Kindle.
The bookstore in Seattle is unique, as it carries books based on customer ratings and popularity on Amazon.
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Since the rumor popped up, shares of Barnes and Noble fell more than 5 percent already.