Amazon plans to open department stores in the U.S. allowing the trillion dollar tech company to expand its physical presence in retail.
The company’s flagship retail stores are expected to be located in Ohio and California, an insider told The Wall Street Journal.
The new spaces will offer customers access to household goods, clothing and electronics from top consumer brands as well as Amazon’s own merchandise.
While the store will reportedly only be around 30,000 square feet in size, far smaller than New York’s infamous department store Macy’s which weighs in at 1.1million square foot, the purchase signals that Amazon is taking increasingly confident strides into brick-and-mortar retail.
Four years ago Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market, the largest chain of American supermarkets specialising in natural and organic foods, for $14bn. However, other than ensuring Amazon echo’s were on offer to customers, the tech giant largely kept its own branding out of the stores.
This year, the tech behemoth has opened five physical convenience stores in London under its own ‘Amazon Fresh’ branding and two days ago it added its own range of groceries to its website which includes household basics such as chicken, bin bags, coffee and toilet paper.
The expansion of the Amazon brand comes amid record net sales. Its ultra-fast online service has thrived during the pandemic, taking $113.1bn in the second quarter of 2021, up 27 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.
Amazon’s burgeoning online income could help to sustain its physical expansion in an increasingly tough US retail market, which saw 8,300 stores close in 2020 alone.