Amazon is planning to expand its physical bookstores across the US, with at least three more stores.
After 20 years of selling books online, Amazon launched its first physical bookstore dubbed Amazon Books in University Village, Seattle. In its Seattle-based store, along with selling books, it also displays gadgets such as Kindle e-readers, Fire TV and Amazon Echo. The prices of books at the physical store match those that are available online.
An Amazon spokeswoman Deborah Bass told Financial Times, the company want to open bookstores in Chicago, San Diego and Portland. The one in Chicago is expected to open as early as next year.
Amazon's Chicago bookstore will be in the Southport Corridor, near Wrigley Field. The area does not have any independent bookstores.
There are several independent book stores in Chicago and the one that is pretty famous is Seminary Co-op, located far from Southport Corridor, near the University of Chicago. The bookstore is known for its regular visitors president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama.
The Co-op, which was celebrating its 55th anniversary with more than 50,000 members, said it continues to face very difficult financial times and had posted "A call to action".
"We have a six-figure annual operating deficit and are working tirelessly to bridge that gap without compromising the character of the store," said director of Seminary Co-op Bookstores Jeff Deutsch.
Even Barnes & Nobles, second famous book retailer after Amazon, has reported decline in sales for past seven years. The company said the sales of Nook e-reader had dropped 20% in the latest quarter.
Amazon's investment in physical stores suggests it is turning its focus away from the online retail store and might even consider other physical store. It recently began selling private label foods such as whole-bean and ground coffee on its website under Happy Belly label. It also rolled out bottled Mama Bear baby food in two flavours. The new labels are sold to Amazon Prime members with a $9.99 subscription a month.