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Amazon's Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore Is Coming to New York

Though the company built its name on ecommerce, Amazon's expanding chain of stores is a sign that it understands the value of a physical presence.

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It’s been a while since Amazon was known solely for selling books. But after commissioning award-winning television series and developing a fleet of drones, the ecommerce giant has decided to go back to its roots in recent years -- sort of.

Eric Broder Van Dyke | Shutterstock

In a move that seemed like the height of irony to anyone who has worked at a Barnes and Noble, Borders or an indie book shop, in 2015, the ecommerce giant opened its first brick-and-mortar book store, Amazon Books, in Seattle.

Locations in Portland, Ore., and San Diego, followed, and storefronts in Dedham, Mass., and Chicago are coming later this year. But first, New York City is going to get an Amazon Books of its own.

Related: Is Amazon's First Brick-and-Mortar Bookstore the Future of Retail?

The inventory of an Amazon Books is very specific. The books for sale are ones that have been given four- or five-star ratings on the website. The stores also act as showrooms for proprietary Amazon gadgets, giving customers the chance to try out items before they decide to purchase them.

The New York store will be at the Shops at Columbus Circle, a mall housed in the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, near Central Park. A Borders store previously located there closed in 2011.

The new space should feel like home to Amazon -- one of the neighboring storefronts belongs to fellow Washington State native Microsoft.

Nina Zipkin

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Entrepreneur Staff

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at Entrepreneur.com. She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.