October 15, 2014
This week, online retailer Amazon confirmed that it will be opening up pop-up stores in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, next week for the holiday shopping season. This news comes after rumors that the company will soon open a brick-and-mortar store in New York City.
The pop-up stores will carry Amazon-branded products developed in-house, such as Amazon’s Kindle tablets and e-readers, Fire smartphone, and Fire TV set-top box. It is said that the store will have limited inventory, and customers will be able to use the store to pick up orders as well as return or exchange products.
“While customers can already see our products online and at retailers like Best Buy and Staples, we wanted to provide another option to try out our full lineup leading into the holidays,” a representative told Fast Company.
I can imagine the Amazon store being something similar to Apple’s Retail Store: Full of tourists and desperate customers looking to fix devices they are so dependent on. And then, let’s not forget the holiday season mayhem!
I especially don’t see the appeal of coming into the store because no one else does anymore. According to a report, the 2013 holiday shopping season, U.S. retailers received approximately half the holiday foot traffic they experienced just three years ago. This has nothing to do with the country’s economic state but a shift in the way consumers shop and buy.
Consumers prefer to research and shop on the web rather than having to talk to in-store underpaid sales associates. 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop.
And why stop by a store when you can shop on your mobile device on the go?
I will be fair; Amazon probably has some surprises for shoppers who come in to the store. At the end of the day, shopping for fun can be great for an exceptional sale or brick-and-mortar events.
I’m not saying there isn’t a strategy behind the pop-up shops and potentially opening a store; it’s Amazon! I just don’t think you or I will stop by to shop there any time soon. You just don’t have the time.
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