The Amazon Books store in Paramus, N.J., opened yesterday, NorthJersey.com reported. The nearly 4,000-square-foot store is located in Westfield Garden State Plaza, the state's largest mall. It is the company's first physical store in New Jersey, and eighth nationwide.
Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said landing the first Amazon store in the state was a coup for the borough: "There is nothing I like reading more than seeing the words first and Paramus in the same sentence."
Independent booksellers in North Jersey weighed in on Amazon's new presence in the region. Walter and Pat Boyer, owners of Bookends in Ridgewood, had visited Amazon's recently opened Manhattan store in Columbus Circle. "I found it to be very cold," Walter said. "Employees walking around with headsets, not necessarily engaging with customers. Talking with a live person is really the benefit of an independent bookstore, where you're consulting with somebody, one to one, who is going to be giving you their personal views on the book."
The Boyers "don't think the new Paramus store will have a significant impact on their business, and said they are on track to have their best year in 15 years of owning their store," NorthJersey.com wrote.
Describing the new store as "ironic," Kenny Sarfin, owner of Books and Greetings in Northvale, said, "Amazon put all the little bookstores out of business and then wants to go back in the bookstore business."