Amazon plans to open its first New York City bookstore this year at an upscale mall near Central Park.
Amazon said in an email it expects to open the store this year at Shops at Columbus Circle, the midtown shopping center with high-end retailers like Cole Haan, Swarovski and Tumi, and fancy restaurants like Per Se.
Amazon has long been the subject of speculation about its ambitions to move its massive online commerce business into brick-and-mortar stores. Some of the chatter has been legit like cashier-less convenience stores, and others have been debunked, like reports that it planned to open 2,000 physical stores.
The company opened its first bookstore in Seattle in 2015, and then added locations in Portland, Oregon, and San Diego. It has plans for stores in Chicago and Dedham, Massachusetts, near Boston. Its bookstores stock a selection of best sellers and books with high customer ratings on its e-commerce site. But, perhaps more important, the stores also serve as showrooms for the company's devices, like its Kindle e-readers and its Echo voice-activated speakers.
The 4,000-square-foot New York bookstore is expected to open in the spring, according to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported the news.