Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has, along with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), been largely responsible for the death of Main Street and the “Mom and Pop” stores that used to anchor said streets. Its ability to deliver millions of items after its humble beginnings as an online bookshop is demonstrative of just how much the Internet has changed our lives.
While seemingly each week you read about Amazon looking to bring what you desire even quicker with same day delivery in a number of cities, Amazon Fresh, and its desire to use drones for delivery, today’s news that Amazon is interested in a good old fashioned storefront was, I’m certain for many, quite unexpected.
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Really? An Amazon store?
The Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the plans, reported today that Amazon will be opening a retail location across from the Empire State Building just ahead of the holiday shopping season.
All that said, it’s not really a store at all. It’s perhaps better to think of as a large advertisement for its online empire and a mini-warehouse behind its retail operations. A warehouse, that will make same-day deliveries on popular items even easier for its new fleet of branded trucks.
Amazon does things fast, and doesn’t always do it right. It’s Fire set-top box and its first foray into smartphones have proved unsuccessful to day and begs the question, “What they are thinking when they look to a retail location.” Well, maybe they are not but sometimes you just want to go into a store and buy something.
Sometimes you want to touch
“There’s still a segment of the population that’s touchy-feely,” says Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. “They want to see the product up close, and have it shown to them.”
With revenues of nearly $16 billion last quarter, Amazon can throw both its weight and its money around with ease and perhaps even see a “Miracle on 34th Street” this year as hundreds of thousands flock to New York City to buy presents for friends and family. It should be looked at more as an experiment than the fool’s errand that it does at first glance.