Thursday, June 28, 2018

[UPDATE] Amazon Books No Longer Opening at Lenox Square

The amazon books store planned for Lenox Square is apparently no longer happening.  ToNeTo Atlanta reported this past November that the store, planned for the mall's main level, was to occupy a roughly 5,000 square foot space near Panera Bread, then occupied by a seasonal Mercedes-Benz store.  

A permit filed October 31, 2017 for "amazon books" in space #3075A at Lenox Square indicated renovations to cost nearly $1.5 million.  Neither Amazon nor Lenox Square's owner Simon Property Group ever publicly confirmed the store was opening.  

Over six months later and with no permits filed since October, we began to wonder if the the store was still opening.  A spokesperson for Lenox Square indicated that Amazon continues to operate a kiosk in the mall but that there is "no other Amazon deal at the mall."  

The first amazon books store opened November 2, 2015 in Amazon's hometown of Seattle, Washington.  In the years since, the company has added fifteen other stores with three more announced this past March for Pacific Palisades, CA, Meridian, ID and Lone Tree, CO.  

Below is a list of the company's amazon books stores including their newest store in Bethesda Row in Maryland, which opened this past Tuesday:  

Seattle, WA                    University Village 
San Diego, CA               Westfield UTC                         
Tigard, OR                     Washington Square                    
Dedham, MA                 Legacy Place                            
Chicago, IL                     Southport Corridor                      
Lynnfield, MA               Market Street Lynnfield              
New York, NY                The Shops at Columbus Circle     
Paramus, NJ                  Garden State Plaza                        
Bellevue, WA                 Bellevue Square                               
San Jose, CA                  Santana Row                               
New York, NY                34th Street                                       
Los Angeles, CA            Westfield Century City              
Walnut Creek, CA         Broadway Plaza                               
Austin, TX                      Domain Northside                          
Washington, D.C.         Georgetown                              
Bethesda, MD               Bethesda Row                                  

It's unclear why Amazon abandoned plans for the store in Lenox Square, but perhaps they will add a mini shop-in-shop amazon books to one of the three upcoming Whole Foods stores planned for metro Atlanta.  Following Amazon's nearly $14 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market last year, the online company has moved further into brick & mortar retailing as it introduces its gadgets (Echo, Fire TV, Kindle etc.) and other products and services to its 400+ Whole Foods Market stores.   
The original amazon books in Seattle
The two Whole Foods Market 365 stores - Decatur & Buckhead and flagship Whole Foods Market in Midtown - are all delayed from their original timelines, but the sprawling Midtown store, which is expected to be 70,000 square feet, may be the farthest out. 

The 365 stores, Whole Foods' answer to Sprouts Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, Aldi and other traditional grocery stores, will open in the newly renovated Paces Ferry Plaza in Buckhead and under construction North Decatur Square near Decatur.  The Buckhead store may open late this year but could ultimately get pushed into early 2019.  The Decatur store is currently on track for an early 2019 opening according to sources familiar with the project.  

The Midtown store was originally slated to open in late 2017, later pushed to spring/summer 2018, and is now opening sometime in the future, but reps are mum on exactly when.  Judging from the progress - or lack thereof - onsite, it's doubtful the store will open any sooner than the second half of 2019.

Are you surprised that amazon cancelled their plans for an amazon books store at Lenox Square?  Do you think Amazon will add a books component to existing or upcoming Whole Foods Market or 365 stores?  Is Amazon becoming too big?

Please share your thoughts below.   


Anonymous said...

Thought this was fake news. Lenox is more of a sneaker mall than a book mall.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they saw and smelled the filthy freight hallway behind and under the store where Panera slops their rotting trash all over the place amongst all the flies, gnats and roaches. Maybe they decided its not worth it to open up next to a biohazard. Or maybe they found out how frequently Corner Bakery springs a leak and pours filthy drain water down through the ceiling of that space, especially in the middle of the night so you have a nice dirty wet mess waiting for you in the morning. If anyone really knew how disgusting the infrastructure and tunnels under this part of the mall and in the food court storage area are, they wouldn’t eat there. Ever.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they saw what the patronage of Lenox Square has become and decided books would not exactly be a hot seller.

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