Amazon is reportedly going to open its first physical store in the heart of New York City just as the holiday season gears up.
But this brick-and-mortar store for the online giant will function more as a mini-warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal. The storefront is also expected to accept product returns and exchanges.
Amazon will likely also use some of the space to showcase its Kindle e-readers and various Fire-branded devices, such as the Fire TV set-top box and the struggling Fire smartphone. That makes sense since the store will have a very high-profile location, in Manhattan on 34th Street across from the Empire State Building.
Amazon tested pop-up shops last year, where it installed Kindle vending machines in malls across the country — but this is a much bigger investment if more physical stores follow in other major cities.
Launching a brick-and-mortar location is “about marketing the Amazon brand,” Matt Nemer, a Wells Fargo analyst, told the Journal. “Same-day delivery, ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on. Amazon needs to be at the center of that.”
Twenty-year old Amazon has researched a brick-and-mortar outlet over the years, including scouting locations in its hometown Seattle about two years ago, the Journal reports. But the idea was shelved because of insufficient foot traffic.
There would be no problem with foot traffic in the heart of a busy Manhattan shopping area teeming with tourists.