The sheer ubiquity and affordability of Amazon’s services has taken a sizable bite out of the brick and mortar retail sectors over the last decade or so. Malls and department stores in particular have been dying out en masse. With Amazon running everyone out of town, there’s a lot of unused real estate lying around, so I guess if anyone’s going to put it to use, it might as well be Amazon themselves.
A source allegedly within Amazon told The Wall Street Journal that the ecommerce giant is considering opening their very own line of department stores, stocked with all the random tchotchkes you could hope to find on an online Amazon crawl. The first experimental stores would supposedly be located in California and Ohio, with projected building sizes around 30,000 square feet. That’s roughly the size of a TJ Maxx, for reference, though obviously not nearly as big as a full-on, multi-floored department store.
An Amazon department store? Long a retail disrupter, the online shopping pioneer plans to open several large physical locations to sell clothing, household items and other goods. https://t.co/2yMkGZnyKd
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 19, 2021
Amazon has declined to comment on subject, saying that they don’t discuss rumors and speculation. That said, such a move wouldn’t be entirely out of character for the retail behemoth. Amazon is, after all, parent company to Whole Foods, one of the largest chains of grocery stores in the country. They have also previously dabbled in brick and mortar retail with their line of cashier-less grocery stores and convenience stores. Amazon would undoubtedly have the capital available to round out any potential losses incurred from the maintenance of a physical location, especially since, unlike their competitors, the only one that would be sniping their business is themselves.
As for what would actually be in the store, the Wall Street Journal report suggests a focus on things like clothes and electronics, as well as products from Amazon’s own branded lines such as Amazon Basics.