Amazon currently operates a dozen brick-and-mortar bookstores, and they are getting ready to open three more, including one in our nation’s capital. This afternoon found me in DC, so I made a brief detour and visited the DC Amazon Books location.
The windows were papered over, so there wasn’t much to see. But from the outside it looked like n ordinary storefront and not the den of iniquity that publishing trade coverage had lead me to expect.
The Amazon Books location is part of a larger three and a half story building that used to house a Barnes & Noble store. Most of the space is taken up by a Nike store, however, and the Amazon Books is limited to a fairly typical 3-story commercial storefront.
Do you see the orange in the window? That is Amazon Books, and so are the two floors above, but everything to the right is either a burger bar or private office, and everything to the left is the Nike store (Amazon has black signage in the windows of the Nike store, but I did check and the space behind the sign is part of the Nike store.)
While Amazon has confirmed that this is a bookstore, they haven’t said how they are going to use the space.
So it remains to be seen whether they will limit the store to the ground floor and use the rest of the space for another purpose, or use the entire volume as a bookstore.