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Mall CEO Backtracks About Amazon Bookstore Plans

Amazon's Seattle storeAmazon's Seattle store
Amazon's Seattle storePhotograph by George Rose

The shopping mall CEO who said that Amazon planned to open hundreds of bricks and mortar stores in malls across the U.S. has backtracked on his statements.

Sandeep Mathrani, the CEO of real estate and mall development company General Growth Properties, said Tuesday that the e-commerce giant intended to open 300 to 400 physical bookstores in the U.S. Amazon already has one bookstore in Seattle, where the company is based, along with a number of small “pop-up” kiosks in Westfield Centre malls for selling Amazon devices and other branded products.

In response to that story, Amazon declined to comment to Fortune. On Wednesday, General Growth Properties issued a statement saying that Mathrani’s comments did not accurately represent Amazon’s retail plans.

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Despite Mathrani’s backtracking, job listings on Amazon’s website do show that the company is hiring staff for additional bookstores. The openings, first spotted by Re/Code, include multiple jobs at new unannounced bookstore in La Jolla, Calif. Another listing is for an executive responsible for device sales inside Amazon Bookstores.

Amazon’s massive brick and mortar plans were ironic considering that the company was founded with the ambitions of putting brick and mortar bookstores out of business. Amazon’s aggressive discounting of books online eventually helped to drive bookstore chain Borders out of business in 2011.