Don’t worry, that feeling is not déjà vu ― the online megastore had previously announced that it would be opening a bookstore in Manhattan all the way back in January. The new announcement pertains to a second Amazon bookstore in New York City, which is scheduled to open this summer. If all goes according to plan, 2017 should see two Amazon Books opening their doors in Gotham.
An Amazon spokesman confirmed to PW that the store will be on West 34th Street, right across the street from the Empire State Building. As the LA Times points out, this location are within miles of several of the city’s longtime beloved bookshops, including Idlewild Books.
Launching a two-pronged attack on the New York book sales scene makes for a bold move on Amazon’s part. Though indie booksellers have faced tough times since the rise of big chain bookstores and then Amazon, New York City has maintained a relatively vibrant array of bookshops, from the cavernous Strand to the cozy Housing Works. Still, recent years have seen the closure of several of the city’s iconic indies, including St. Mark’s Bookshop and Brooklyn’s BookCourt, as well as big chain stores.
Meanwhile, some under-resourced neighborhoods in New York lack any bookstores.
The Bronx Barnes & Noble closed at the end of 2016, leaving millions of the borough’s residents without a local general interest bookstore. A new indie bookstore and wine bar is coming to the Bronx soon, thanks to the tireless efforts and fundraising of bookseller Noëlle Santos.
But don’t count on Amazon for any help; the digital giant has chosen to place its two bookstores in midtown Manhattan, only about 30 blocks apart.
The Amazon Books train is going full steam ahead; according to PW, the company is already hiring “store managers and associates” for the newly announced location.