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CEO Bezos: Amazon to open more real-world stores

The online giant plans to expand into brick-and-mortar retail, but it's not yet clear where, beyond a handful of cities such as Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaking in 2014.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos speaking in 2014.

James Martin/CNET

Amazon's foray into brick-and-mortar outlets began last year in Seattle and continued with package pickup centers at the University of Pennsylvania and in six other college towns. That won't be the end of the effort, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said Tuesday.

"We're definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don't know yet," Bezos said at the company's annual shareholder meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal. But at least initially, the expansion is more experimental, he said: "In these early days it's all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue."

Amazon has opened small pop-up store kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, and plans an Amazon Books store in San Diego, but it's not yet clear how widespread the stores will become. The company didn't respond to a request for comment.

For years, Amazon tried to avoid state sales taxes that retailers with physical stores had to pay, but the company changed its tune. That means there's no penalty to opening retail stores, where customers can examine products directly and buy them without having to wait for a delivery truck.

Update 6:21 a.m. PT May 19 to add that Amazon now has seven college pickup centers and has opened San Francisco and Sacramento kiosks.