The world’s largest online retailer, Amazon, has already transcended cyberspace enough to threaten brick-and-mortar stores. The e-commerce juggernaut may pose a further threat this holiday season by opening its first physical store in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The potential store would likely fill the void of immediacy in e-commerce, mostly serving as a showroom for consumers to pick up, return, and exchange items without having to be at the mercy of the U.S. Postal Service. Amazon’s store can also be expected to stock popular items, as well its own branded electronics.
“They’ll have a small showcase of their core products, I’m sure, but the fact is, they know what products people in New York need every single day,” says Bryan Eisenberg, a digital marketing veteran. “Amazon is extremely data-driven. They know what products they need to have, what’s going to work, what’s going to move.”
Eisenberg recently co-founded a start-up called IdealSpot, which uses predictive algorithms to help businesses determine the best possible place to set up shop. He says if Amazon had requested his services, he would have placed the retailer exactly where it’s reportedly going: the heart of Midtown, directly across the street from the Empire State Building. The 34th Street location is also walking distance from four of the city’s busiest five subway stations.
Amazon has toyed with the idea of a physical location in the past; a few years back, the retailer was said to have been scouting locations in Seattle, but the store never came to fruition. Until now, the company has only ever dipped its feet in the offline pool, experimenting with pop-up shops and the Amazon Lockers that accommodate drop-offs and returns, though not same-day delivery.
“We all know multichannel adds tremendous value,” Eisenberg says. “Yes, they dominate online, but they don’t have any physical channels. It’s going to give them a chance to touch people in real life and give them that full experience.”
Amazon declined to comment on the rumor and simply said that “no announcements have been made about any location in Manhattan.”
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