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Amazon Reportedly Plans to Open Hundreds of Bookstores in Malls

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Amazon opened its first physical bookstore in Seattle this fall, but it may have more brick & mortar locations in the works. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon plans to open as many as 400 bookstores.

That info is from chief executive of mall operator General Growth Properties, Inc. Sandeep Mathrani, who mentioned Amazon's expansion plans on an earnings call on Tuesday.

"You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores and their goal is to open, as I understand, 300 to 400," he said on the call when asked about mall traffic.

Amazon declined to comment to WSJ on the report.

If this information is accurate, Amazon would be going up against booksellers like Barnes & Noble, which operates 640 stores, and Books-A-Million Inc, which had 255 stores as of last summer. Amazon's online book business has already transformed the publishing industry, with aggressive price cutting that many have pointed to as the reason both independent bookstores and companies like Borders are out of business.

Update: Sounds like Mathrani is trying to downplay this whole thing. A press release from General Growth Properties, Inc. reads: "Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani has indicated that a statement he made concerning Amazon during GGP's earnings conference call held on February 2, 2016, was not intended to represent Amazon's plans.