Amazon is reportedly planning to open some 'department store-like' stores in the United States. The e-commerce company hopes to expand its reach in selling clothing, household goods, electronics and more.
The first Amazon department stores would be opened in Ohio and California, The Wall Street Journal reports based on anonymous sources. The new stores would be three to four times smaller than regular department stores, at around 2,800 sqm.
The product range on offer would be similar, however, with a strong focus on apparel, furniture and electronic devices. Amazon's private label products are expected to feature prominently within the concept.
Through its brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon can enable consumers to try on products before buying them. This could be particularly useful for clothing, as buying online often leads to frustrations regarding sizing and fit. Amazon became the largest clothing retailer in the United States this year, at the expense of major rival Walmart. The stores also allow the e-commerce giant to highlight other products from its enormous range.
In recent years, Amazon has been systematically expanding its 'physical footprint' into new markets. The first brick-and-mortar store, a bookstore, opened in Seattle in 2015. Today, the company has more than twenty bookstores and several dozen 4-star stores that sell gadgets, from electronics to kitchen items.
Afterwards, the company plunged into the grocery market, initially with the acquisition of Whole Foods. Later, it added till-less Amazon Go convenience stores and more conventional Amazon Fresh supermarkets.