It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘Amazon is the bad guy’ rhetoric, and blame Bezos and Co for ruining all the bookstores. But this NY Times article is a useful reminder that sometimes, the explanation is a lot simpler than we might think. The article highlights the sky-high rents in Manhattan, which are forcing even chain bookstores out of the market:
“In December, Christine Onorati, the co-owner of Word bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, opened a second store in Jersey City. Ms. Onorati said she never looked seriously at Manhattan because the rents were so unaffordable. Even with lower rents in Jersey City, she opened a cafe within the bookstore that serves pastries and Stumptown coffee as an additional source of revenue, something she had previously vowed she would never do.”
And it’s not just Manhattan either; this news story from earlier this month blames the closing of Toronto’s beloved The Cookbook Store only in part on ‘online competition’ and cites extreme weather, road construction and the sale of the building for condo development as additional reasons for the closure.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, people. It’s not always about Amazon being the bad guy!