Amazon.com Inc. plan to open a store in the middle of New York City, according to people familiar with the plans, the first brick-and-mortar outlet in its 20-year history and an experiment to provide the type of face-to-face experience found at traditional retailers.
The Manhattan location would function as a ‘mini-warehouse’ for same-day delivery in New York, product returns and pickups of online orders and will also serve as a distribution center for couriers, according to the report.
The site, set to open in time for the holiday-shopping season on this busy street would mark an attempt by Amazon to connect with customers in the physical world. Amazon has built its business on competitive pricing and fast shipping, though, until now it couldn’t compete with the immediacy of a traditional store.
Amazon has shaken up the retail world by offering lower prices than many brick-and-mortar stores and offering comparison app tools that brought forth the trend of ‘showroom buying’ — folks going to a physical store to see the item, then going home and ordering it online to save money.
Amazon’s first store, set to open in Manhattan, will mark an experiment to connect with customers in the real world.
If it is successful, however, the New York location could presage a rollout to other U.S. cities, according to the report.
Amazon has experimented with physical stores before, including pop-up shops and locations run by subsidiaries.
Amazon took some inspiration from a trial by the U.K.’s Home Retail Group PLC, allowing customers to order eBay goods online and pick them up in its Argos stores.
According to reports, the address for the store is 7 West 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building and a block east from busy Herald Square, home to the flagship Macy’s,. And a retail store offering same-day delivery could be ‘a tremendous uptick for tourists’ and generate ‘tremendous volume’.
Let’s wait n watch for the customer response to this new experimental system.