Amazon already has an extensive collection of fulfillment centers, lockers and pop-up shipping containers scattered across the country. Soon enough, the online retail giant will be able to add a physical brick-and-mortar store to its resume if a new report from The Wall Street Journal proves accurate.
The publication claims Amazon is planning to open a store right in the heart of New York City on 34th Street near Macy’s flagship store and the Empire State Building. The store will operate as a mini-warehouse with limited inventory for same-day delivery within the Big Apple. The storefront is also expected to accept product returns and exchanges.
A physical store, especially in the heart of New York City, seems like an odd choice for Amazon but as Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer points out, it’s all about marketing the Amazon brand.
Amazon may also use some of the space as a showroom for its Kindle e-readers and various Fire-branded devices like the Fire TV set-top box and the ill-fated Fire smartphone. Displaying branded products seems like a foregone conclusion although those familiar with the plans said Amazon is still undecided.
Sources said the brick-and-mortar store largely boils down to an experiment for Amazon. Up to this point, the company has become a household name without any major retail presence. Adding in costs like leases, paying employees and managing inventory could prove to have too much of an impact on Amazon’s already thin margins if they went nationwide with the plans.
We’re told that the store is slated to open in time for the holidays.