IN BRIEF: While the rest of the world is cozying up in the e-commerce space, Amazon Inc. the biggest online retailer is ramping up its physical presence. The e-commerce giant is planning to open a network of Amazon pop up stores in US malls.
2017 will bring 100 Amazon Pop Up Stores
The Seattle company has already begun the rollout with 21 small kiosks in 12 states across the US. According to their website, over the next year can we expect as many as 100 pop up shops. Business Insider, first reported that the 100 retail locations are going to be distinct from Amazon’s existing Seattle storefront. Amazon will first add 30 pop-up shops by the end of 2016, and then go to full-scale with 100 stores in 2017. Amazon kiosks will be between 300 to 500 square feet in size and positioned in the middle of the malls.
The Amazon pop up stores will not focus on books, but on its growing number of consumer electronic devices. Gadgets include the Kindle and Amazon Fire product lineup, the Dash button, the Fire TV set-top box, and the Echo and Amazon Tap speakers. So, instead of blindly placing an order online after reading reviews, consumers can now test out products. They can also ask experts on hand any questions before buying the products.
Amazon’s Not So Secret Retail Store Plans
Job listings unearthed by the Business Insider hint that the 6 Amazon pop up stores were a part of the test phase that is now over. Amazon is now ready to grow and expand the retail operation to learn more about its services like Prime and Amazon Originals. While it may seem like a marketing gimmick, the purpose is to drive more revenue. With the Amazon kiosks, Amazon will gain more than one way to sell its services like Prime.
Amazon has 22 pop-up stores currently in operation. These are spread across California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, Arizona, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Texas.
Another example of Amazon kiosks is the company’s plan to open more grocery stores. According to GeekWire, a 9,759-square-foot retail space will open in Seattle. Here, customers can pick up groceries that they’ve ordered online. Amazon calls it a “new model of grocery shopping.”
In a shareholder meeting in May, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos said that company would be aggressively expanding its retail operations. This way they can educate themselves on which sales tactics work best in offline environments.