Amazon Books to open at UTC in summer
Amazon will open its second physical bookstore, appropriately named Amazon Books, this summer at Westfield UTC mall, according to new signage posted in front of the e-commerce company’s future brick-and-mortar location.
The signage confirms what’s been expected since early February, when Amazon first posted online job ads for Amazon Books store managers, booksellers and device enthusiasts.
“We are excited to be bringing Amazon Books to the University Towne Center Mall in San Diego, and we are currently hiring store managers and associates,” said Sarah Gelman, Amazon spokesperson. “Stay tuned for additional details down the road.”
Located at 4545 La Jolla Village Drive, Westfield UTC is an upscale, outdoor shopping mall that matches the style and retailers of University Village, the Seattle-area mall where Amazon opened its first bookstore. That location, which opened its doors in November, spans 7,500 square feet, with approximately 5,500 square feet of retail space.
The San Diego store will presumably resemble the Seattle location, which sells a limited selection of Amazon’s best-reviewed books. That venue also doubles as a showroom for the e-commerce brand’s expanding hardware lineup, which includes its Kindle, Fire TV, Fire tablets and Echo. The Echo, the company’s latest gadget, is an in-home personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence.
UTC represents a great “showcase” location for Amazon, said Miro Copic, a branding expert and marketing lecturer at San Diego State University. And San Diego’s demographic makeup presumably matches that of the e-tailer’s online customer base, he said Monday.
Copic anticipates Amazon will use the San Diego venue to sell its entire brand - not just books - and teach shoppers about the perks of Prime membership, such as music and TV content, or educate them on the advantages of owning an Echo.
“It will be a way to have the Amazon experience at the mall,” Copic said.
The future Amazon Books store at UTC is situated adjacent to the Tesla store and across from the Apple store.
Notably, the company is taking up residence at the same mall where other e-commerce companies such as menswear retailer Bonobos and trendy eyeglass company Warby Parker have also put down physical roots.