More reports on: Retail

Amazon to open first store in New York City; report

11 October 2014

Amazon plans to open its first store in the heart of New York City, a report from the Wall Street Journal said.

According to the report, citing sources, the store would be located on West 34th Street, right across from the Empire State Building.

The location would be primarily used for customers to pick up online orders, the report added. It would also serve as a distribution centre for couriers and assist customers with returns and exchanges.

According to the newspaper, the site was set to open in time for the holiday-shopping season.

This was not the first time Amazon had dabbled in opening an outlet. According to the report, the online-retailer had considered the idea of opening a store in Seattle but decided against the idea, due to a lack of foot traffic in the area of the proposed location.

The experimental pop-up store would function as a small warehouse, holding limited inventory for same-day deliveries only in New York, Dow Jones reported.

The store might also host tech showcases for items such as Kindle e-readers, Fire phones and Fire TVs.

A customer ordering an item online could pick it up that same day in the store.

According to commentators, the company risked increasing costs related to retailing such as paying leases and hiring workers, however, if the store was successful, it might set a precedent for additional stores in other cities.

Amazon had been researching and scouting a possible store for several years, Dow Jones said citing a person familiar with the project. The company, had, two years ago, gone as far as scouting spots in Seattle, where it was headquartered.

According to Matt Nemer, a Wells Fargo analyst who spoke to Dow Jones, same day delivery, ordering online and picking up in-store were ideas that were really catching on. He added Amazon needed to be at the centre of that.

Other companies such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot had already incorporated this order-online, pick-up in-store model and clothing company Bonobos opened 10 stores in 2011 and planned to expand to 40 stores by 2016.

Amazon had tried brick-and-mortar experiments before, including Kindle vending machines that sold tablets and e-readers in malls.

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