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Report: Amazon To Open New York Retail Store
Location on West 34th Street would be a first for the company.
According to reports appearing on CNBC and in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), e-commerce pioneer Amazon is going to open a Manhattan retail store. The store is reportedly scheduled to open in time to capture holiday traffic and purchases.
The store’s location is going to be at 7 West 34th St., across from the Empire State Building. According to the WSJ it, “would function as a mini-warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York, product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders.”
The other thought is that this would present an opportunity for Amazon to showcase its Fire TV box, e-readers, tablets and Fire Phone which has proven thus far to be a major flop with consumers. It goes without saying that the Apple Store has proven to be a key element in the success of Apple product sales.
It’s impossible to handicap the success or failure of the Amazon Store at this stage. However, if the store were to succeed, it’s very likely that Amazon would open additional outlets in other cities (e.g., Seattle, LA, SF, Chicago, etc.).
The intended store’s proximity to the Empire State Building would guarantee huge foot traffic. The Amazon brand and curiosity factor would also probably drive numerous store visits.
This is not the first time that Amazon has had a physical store presence. But past efforts have been more modest “pop-up” temporary store locations in the US and UK. This represents the opening of a true retail storefront.
Notwithstanding the challenges that so-called “brick and mortar” retail faces the spending and survey evidence is very clear that US consumers, as a group, continue to prefer to shop offline. US Census data show that just over 93 percent more than four trillion dollars of annual US retail spending happens in physical stores.
Amazon has tested and explored same-day delivery (as have eBay and Google) as a way to bridge the gap between e-commerce and traditional, offline retail. And the expedited shipping of Amazon Prime has proven very successful.
Nonetheless the experience of being able to see and touch physical products or clothes has not yet been matched by e-commerce providers. It will be interesting to see which products Amazon stocks and how it represents the rest of its inventory to shoppers within the store environment.