Amazon is getting almost no revenue from its bookstores

Key Points
  • Amazon broke out "physical stores" sales for the first time in the third quarter.
  • Amazon has been expanding its physical presence, with Whole Foods, bookstores, and pop-up stores.
  • Almost all of the revenue in the category comes from Whole Foods.
People shopping at an Amazon Books store in New York, New York, on May 25, 2017.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Amazon has been making a strong push towards brick and mortar lately, acquiring Whole Foods and opening dozens of bookstores and pop-up stores.

But almost all the revenue from its push into the physical world is coming from Whole Foods.

Amazon broke out sales from "physical stores" for the first time in its third-quarter earnings report on Thursday. The segment generated $1.28 billion in the quarter — roughly the same as the $1.3 billion Whole Foods produced for Amazon in the period.

That means revenue from its other stores, like the 12 booksellers and 50-plus pop-up stores run by Amazon, is almost non-existent.

During the earnings call, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky acknowledged that most of the physical store sales came from Whole Foods. A physical store, Olsavsky said, is a place "where customers are physically selecting items in a store, versus perhaps ordering online and picking up somewhere."

Amazon has yet to spell out a clear strategy behind its retail expansion. In a previous call, Olsavsky said Amazon's bookstores are more than just a place to sell books, but also provide a great channel to showcase the company's hardware devices.

Last month, CNBC reported that Amazon is seeing an uptick in online sales in the regions where it already has a physical outpost.

The company is giving every indication that more physical stores are on the way.

"You will see more expansion from us," Olsavsky said during Thursday's call. "It's still early, so those plans will develop over time."