RoundUp: Amazon Won’t be Opening 400 Bookstores, But That Hasn’t Quelled the Speculation

22537168577_ae78bc307c_hThe rumor that Amazon was opening 300 to 400 bookstores lasted less than 24 hours before being retracted by the original source, but that was more than enough time for the tech blogosphere to pen a double dozen stories on, around, and about the rumor.

Here are the several best stories I found this evening.

To start, Longform weighed in this morning with an oblique commentary on yesterday’s rumor. It published its own linkpost titled The Longform Guide to Journalism Hoaxes, Pranks and Lies which rounded up seven old stories on journalistic hoaxes, frauds, and outright fabrications.

Re/code also weighed in with a tangential post that is rather light on the details but also hints that Amazon that Amazon has b&m plans beyond bookstores.

PW has the one most interesting story of the bunch; they found Amazon job openings in San Diego for booksellers, suggesting that Amazon has at least one store in the works.

The Dallas Morning News sought out the opinion of Half-Priced Books, the third-largest bookstore chain in the US. VP Kathy Doyle Thomas felt vindicated by the rumor, saying that “We’ve known for 44 years that people like to browse and shop bookstores”.

And last but not least Rich Bellis, formerly of DBW, writes over at Fast Company that “Amazon’s Rumored ‘Bookstores’ Probably Won’t Be What You Think”.

P.S. Even though this rumor proved to be false, it did shake loose a few new leaks which said that Amazon might be planning to open a dozen stores in the next couple years. That detail came from independent reports by Shelf Awareness and the NYTimes, and is based on confidential sources, but it is still more plausible than yesterday’s rumor.

image by SounderBruce

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Mark Coker3 February, 2016

    Might be premature to label the rumor false or the statement retracted. “..was not intended to represent Amazon’s plans.” is about the weakest possible retraction. To me it reads, “Our CEO accidentally leaked Amazon’s true or approximate plans. I didn’t realize we weren’t authorized to disclose this information. Although I am not authorized to represent Amazon’s plans, I did. Oops. Sorry.”

    1. Nate Hoffelder3 February, 2016

      Mark, you didn’t see the off the record comment Amazon sent everyone. Between that and the confidential sources which disagree with the mall operator CEO (TechCrunch, to name one), I would say that this rumor has been retracted.

    2. Nate Hoffelder3 February, 2016

      Speaking of which, I found the actual quote (link). I don’t think that quote can be taken seriously, not when considered in context.

  2. Mark Coker3 February, 2016

    Fair enough, though I find it implausible that the CEO of one of the biggest REITs would fabricate such a rumor on an earnings conference call unless he honestly misspoke in error, though he didn’t admit to an error. Maybe they’re not “bookstores” per se. Maybe they’re Everything Stores?

  3. Amazon not opening 400 stores, but may have more modest retail outlet plans - TeleRead4 February, 2016

    […] there have been more blogosphere reactions. I’ll capitalize on the great work Nate Hoffelder did rounding them up here and here, and take a look at the more interesting pieces to see what we can […]

  4. […] known since Wednesday that Amazon is planning to open a retail location in San Diego (and judging by the related job […]

  5. […] opened one bookstore, in Seattle, late last year. They have also announced plans to open a store in San Diego, and hinted at plans to open one in Berlin. But the retailer has not said when it will be opening […]

  6. […] bookstore. But if the story is true it will be Amazon's fourth announced bookstore after Seattle, San Diego, and Portland, Oregon. (The possible store in Berlin is still only a tease, and not even a […]


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