Amazon.com has agreed to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Washington D.C., part of a nationwide push into physical retailing by America's largest e-commerce site.
Steven Roth, the chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust, told investors this week that Amazon has leased 10,000 square feet at 3040 M St. NW, a storefront previously occupied by Barneys New York. He did not specify when the store is set to open.
Amazon did not immediately return a request for comment. Jeffrey P. Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.
The retail giant has already opened several bookstores, including in San Diego, Portland, Oregon, and its hometown, Seattle. The stores typically feature tie-ins to its online business, such as cards showing snippets of customer reviews of the books. And they have space for showing off Amazon gadgets such as the Echo digital voice assistant or the Fire TV streaming device.
The bookstore is just one way that Amazon is branching into brick-and-mortar retailing. It is also piloting a grocery concept called Amazon Go that would allow shoppers to skip the checkout lane to pay for their goods. There is only one Amazon Go location at this time, and it is set to open to the public later this year. (Currently, only Amazon employees can shop there.)
Meanwhile, it has opened stations for picking up online orders, including its Amazon Campus facility in College Park, Maryland.
There had been some hint that Amazon was planning to open a store here, such as when the company moved in the fall to start collecting sales tax on online orders being shipped to the District.
The Amazon store in Georgetown will be on the same block that once housed a massive, multistory Barnes & Noble store, which shuttered its doors there in 2011 as part of a wider retreat that came after years of fighting a losing battle with Amazon. The old-school bookseller was replaced by a Nike store, which is soon to become Amazon's next-door neighbor.
- - -
Staff writer Jonathan O'Connell contributed to this report.