Online retail giant Amazon is planning on opening a physical bookshop in New York in time for the holidays, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Amazon had a pop-up shop in San Francisco last year, and has tested Kindle vending machines in various locations across the US.
The WSJ said the shop, which will open across from the Empire State Building on 34th Street, will function as a "mini-warehouse" for “same-day delivery, product returns and pickups of online orders”. It may also sell Amazon’s range of e-readers and tablets, including the recently launched Fire HD, Fire HDX and Kindle Voyage at the shop.
Amazon has not commented on the rumours but Richard Doherty, an analyst with the Envisioneering Group, told USA Today that New York attracts many foreign tourists who use Amazon at home, so a physical shop would generate “tremendous volume”.
Only a handful of physical retailers currently sell Amazon devices, including Best Buy and Walmart in the US and Waterstones in the UK.
The WSJ did not say that the shop would be temporary but some bloggers have said the shop will be a pop-up store. Kirsten Reach, editor at US-based publisher Melville House, said: “Nobody freak out – Amazon’s not going into the brick-and-mortar business. At least not just yet. This is a pop-up store. For the holiday season.”
She added: “Physical stores do boring stuff like “charge sales tax” and “treat their employees well” and “stock books,” instead of ordering small quantities and listing them as out of stock if they’ve sold. Amazon doesn’t want to deal with any of that.”