SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza on Tuesday announced it would start selling physical books online for pickup in its chain comprised of almost 1,000 stores, using its national footprint to compete with traditional booksellers and Amazon.com Inc.
The move underscores Magazine Luiza's eagerness to mount a direct challenge to online retailer Amazon, which started its Brazilian operations in 2012 with e-book sales, followed by physical books two years later.
Brazil's more established booksellers are facing financial headwinds, leading Saraiva Livreiros SA and Livraria Cultura to file for bankruptcy protection last year.
"The goal is to turn Magalu into a reference in this segment," said Eduardo Galanternick, Magazine Luiza's executive director of e-commerce, in a press statement. Three hundred of the retailer's 954 stores are located in Brazilian cities without any bookshop, he added.
Magazine Luiza shares were up 1.9 percent at 170.31 reais on Tuesday afternoon, in line with the Bovespa stock index. Only in 2018, its shares have risen 126 percent.
(Reporting by Gabriela Mello and Alberto Alerigi Jr.; Editing by Matthew Lewis)