Powells buys warehouse to serve Web business


Powell's City of Books, Portland's premier bookseller, has acquired a 60,000-square-foot warehouse in Northwest Portland's industrial district to store inventory for items ordered through its popular Web site, www.powells.com.

The building, at Northwest 29th Avenue and Industrial Street, was formerly owned by Applied Industrial Technologies Inc.

Though most Internet retailers are struggling, Powells.com continues to show steady growth. Last month, the Web site posted a 22 percent sales increase over the previous year, the company reported.

Only 14 percent of those buying merchandise from Powells.com last month were from the Pacific Northwest. The company attributes a rapidly growing national customer base to strategic partnerships with distributors and content providers.

Powells.com has about 70,000 'hits' from visitors daily.

The warehouse, the company's second in Portland, will provide extra space for books and computer systems that support its online services, said Miriam Sontz, Powell's chief executive officer for development.

The building is being renovated and will be ready for use next spring.

Ñ Tribune staff