|Santana Row, like Bethesda Row an|
upscale Federal Realty development,
announces the pending arrival of
Amazon Books on its Instagram account
The possibility that Amazon Books could take over at least part of the Barnes and Noble space just got a bit more credible. That's because Bethesda Row developer Federal Realty has signed a lease with Amazon Books for another one of its upscale developments, Santana Row in San Jose, California.
Reasons Amazon Books would be a good fit? Well, most obviously, it's a bookstore. But it's also a coffee shop, which is one of the main draws at Barnes and Noble currently. Amazon Books also sells Amazon gadgets, not unlike Barnes and Noble's Kindle also-ran, Nook.
What doesn't work about Amazon Books, unless this was an expanded, more-experimental version? Most significantly, size. Amazon Books stores are under 10000 SF; Barnes and Noble's space at Bethesda Row is a comparatively-massive 37500 SF. Perhaps the space could be divided to solve that, with a buzzworthy restaurant taking over a third, and a high-end retailer the rest.
Beyond size, though, is that the Amazon Books selection is not up to Bethesda standards. There's a reason you might find yourself behind David Brooks in the checkout line today - Barnes and Noble simply has more books than Amazon Books currently carries. And the inventory at Amazon Books is driven heavily by popularity and review ratings.
So if your enjoyment in books comes from volumes well off the beaten path, or those more sophisticated than the latest vacation-novel-soon-to-be-a-Ben-Affleck-movie variety, Amazon Books is probably not for you. It sounds more like one of those Waldenbooks-style mall bookstores. In one of the most-educated and enlightened towns in America, Amazon Books would certainly have to up its game in the selection department.