Amazon’s physical store program could be expanding. The industry giant may soon mix technology with the real-world shopping experience by opening appliance and furniture stores that use augmented or virtual reality.
Jeff Bezos’s firm is already looking to build more of its bricks-and-mortar bookstores. According to The New York Times, it may be adding a chain of homeware stores to its portfolio. But rather than being Home Depot-style outlets, Amazon will pack them with AR or VR headsets that allow customers to see what the products will look like in their homes.
Amazon wouldn’t be the first company to blend these technologies with the physical retail world. Pottery Barn’s AR app gives users an idea of what furniture will look like in their homes before they buy it. And some Lowe’s stores use the HTC Vive in their Holoroom How To clinics, which teach people how to undertake DIY projects.
Citing “people familiar with the discussions,” The Times adds that Amazon is also considering taking on Apple with electronics outlets similar to the Cupertino company’s famed stores. Right now, Amazon’s bookstores sell some of its devices, but it reportedly wants a retail space dedicated to items like Echo speakers and Amazon Prime.
The Times notes that just because Amazon is said to be considering the plans, there’s no guarantee it’ll follow through on them. The firm has its hands full right now with the construction of five extra bookstores, and will soon open its checkout-free Amazon Go store to the public.