Amazon Goes Omnichannel in New York

Renowned online retailer Amazon are opening their first bricks-and-mortar store in New York.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Amazon’s new New York store will be open in time for the Christmas holiday season, allowing customers to pick up online orders, make exchanges and return products. The location will also serve as a showroom for other Amazon products, including the Kindle device or the struggling Fire smartphone.

“There’s still a segment of the population that’s touchy-feely,” Tim Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies, told USA Today with regard to Amazon’s ebook reader and smartphone. “They want to see the product up close, and have it shown to them.”

The move makes Amazon one of the most high-profile examples of a brand adopting an omnichannel strategy, using a location as a place of physical liaison between customers and online sales channels through seamless integration.

When an Amazon spokeswoman was asked about an upcoming store in New York, she replied: “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.”

The move has set analysts alight with speculation. Kurt Salmon retail analyst Sean Whitehouse claims the move may be to establish a closer connection with its customers, comparing the new location to that of Apple.

“It’s about the customer experience they can offer,” he said.

Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group agreed, but added that it wouldn’t mean the store would exclusively stock Amazon merchandise.

“Even the Apple Store carries non-Apple products,” Enderle told USA Today. “They’ll showcase Amazon, but also show off the breadth of Amazon’s catalog.”

The Journal states that the store is located on West 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building. It’s a bold choice of location for Amazon, which would put them within a stone’s throw of major competitor Macy’s and their flagship store.

Source: Fairfax

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