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Amazon Is Opening a Bookstore in Manhattan

By Nicole Levy | January 5, 2017 3:36pm | Updated on January 6, 2017 2:47pm
 Books on display at Amazon's brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle
Books on display at Amazon's brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle
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Flickr/Brian Chow

Where there was once a Borders, there will now be an Amazon bookstore.

The e-commerce giant is set to open its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in New York City later this year, inside the Shops at Columbus Circle, the Wall Street Journal first reported. A spokesperson for Related Companies, the real estate firm that owns the indoor shopping mall, confirmed the news to DNAinfo New York.

Amazon will claim a 4,000-square-foot space on the shopping center's third floor, the spokesperson said in an email. Before bankruptcy forced the bookselling chain to close all its locations in 2011, Borders had an outpost there, too.

The arrival of an Amazon bookstore in New York advances the company's push into physical retail, which began four years ago. After opening an "Amazon Books" location in Seattle in 2015, the company now has three brick-and-mortar bookstores on the West Coast, as well as plans to expand into Chicago and the Boston area this year.

The existing stores showcase books on Amazon's best-sellers list, books highly rated by online customers, customers' reviews of said books, and Amazon gadgets like Kindle e-book readers and the Echo voice-controlled speakers. Browsers are encouraged to use the Amazon app to scan book barcodes to check their prices and look up additional information about them.

Amazon could not immediately be reached for comment about the opening of a Columbus Circle store.

Book lovers in New York City will inevitably ask themselves what Amazon's invasion means for independent bookstores, which saw a wave of closures as New York real estate prices continued to rise in 2016.

Among those that shuttered in the past year were Cobble Hill's Community Bookstore, the West Village's Left Bank Books, DUMBO's P.S. Bookshop, and the East Village's St. Mark's Bookshop. St. Mark's had operated in the neighborhood for almost 40 years.