Evidence suggests that Amazon is planning a brick-and-mortar bookstore in University Village, a shopping mall in Seattle.
Shelf Awareness, a newsletter about the book industry, reports that Amazon has been rumoured to be looking at a spot in the mall ever since Barnes & Noble vacated in 2012.
Now, a mysterious tenant named “Ann Bookstore” is working on a vacant spot in the mall that used to be owned by a restaurant, according to city work permits. All of the major bookstores in Seattle told the publication they’re not planning a new store in that mall.
In addition, Amazon has been approaching booksellers at other bookstores in Seattle about a “new initiative,” offering pay of up to $US18 an hour.
Geekwire then went sniffing around the site, and talked to a construction worker who had heard through the grapevine that the tenant was Amazon. Geekwire also saw a construction worker holding what looked like an electronic reader.
If Amazon does open a store, it may not only carry physical books — or carry physical books at all. It’s possible that Amazon will instead ape the Apple and Microsoft stores located in the same mall and use it as a display room for its Kindle and Fire devices.
Amazon didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.