Job Listings, Tax Collection Give Away Amazon Plans For Stores In Boston, Washington D.C.

Image courtesy of Amazon

After starting in Seattle and San Diego, slowly coming to the parts of the country that face the Pacific, Amazon seems ready to head east. Recent developments in Beantown and our nation’s capital indicate that the massive online retailer seems ready to build new brick-and-mortar stores on the more Atlantic side of things.

Amazon has not formally announced either location, but the churning gears of bureaucracy have dropped tells.

In Boston, a store’s need for actual human people to work in it is giving the game away. The Boston Globe reports that Amazon’s got job listings up for about 20 roles in a store in Dedham, a town right on the Boston city border. Amazon did not comment on the plans, but the owner of the Legacy Place mall confirmed to the Globe that “We are excited to be bringing Amazon Books to Legacy Place in 2017,” which is a pretty clear statement.

Over in D.C., matters are a little less clear-cut. The Washington Post reports that Amazon has announced it will begin collecting sales taxes on District residents as of October 1.

The laws around sales tax for online purchases are still a little hairy and perennially controversial. But in general, states collect sales tax on internet retailers that have a physical presence of some kind in the store where the purchaser is.

Amazon has distribution centers and other offices in Virginia and Maryland, so dwellers in the ‘burbs have been paying sales tax on Amazon goods for years. But the District of Columbia, in all its 68 square mile glory, has been absent any Amazon facilities… until now, perhaps.

The Post reports that Amazon has hired a local consulting firm to help it scout out the ideal location in D.C. Unlike the Massachusetts mall developer, the D.C.-area consulting firm declined to comment.

However, a developer of many D.C.-area shopping districts and malls (many of them the same trendy outdoor type as the Dedham location Amazon will be in) told the Post that Amazon is gung-ho about coming to the region. “They are going to roll out a series of stores over the next 18 to 24 months. They are 100 percent committed,” she said.

Amazon opened its first Amazon Books location in its own hometown of Seattle in late 2015. Since then, the company has been on a slow but steady roll: a San Diego location opened earlier this year, a Portland store is opening soon, and one in New York City is reportedly in the works.