Friday, October 10, 2014

Amazon said to be opening a brick-and-mortar store in New York City

Just a quick note.  I saw this in the Wall Street Journal yesterday and, since some can't access it, will include some key points from the article.

"Amazon to Open First Brick-and-Mortar Site"
Written by Greg Bensinger and Keiko Morris, the WSJ reports that plans are to open an Amazon store in the middle of New York City, "according to people familiar with the plans" in time for the holiday season.
' Amazon’s space at 7 West 34th St., across from the Empire State Building in Midtown, would function as a mini warehouse, with limited inventory for same-day delivery within New York, product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders.  The Manhattan location is meant primarily to be a place for customers to pick up orders they’ve made online, but will also serve as a distribution center for couriers and likely one day will feature Amazon devices like Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphones and Fire TV set-top boxes, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. '
The WSJ doesn't have details for the size, length of the lease, or inventory involved -- and plans could change, they say, as this is "an experiment."

Amazon had scouted space for a store in Seattle two years ago but decided there was not enough foot traffic.
The Empire State Building, across from the site of the planned store, drew 4.3 million visitors to its observatory last year. and Macy's, about a block away, saw 20 million annual visitors (so there should be enough foot traffic in this case!).

This particular experiment indicates that if the project is successful, we'll see Amazon stores only in the most heavily traffic'd parts of a few large urban areas, considering they didn't build one in Seattle.  But who knows?

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  1. I think speculation has run a little ahead of reality on this one. Tell me what is convenient about being able to pick something up in a single downtown Manhattan location? That sounds very inconvenient to me. Why wouldn't I just have it delivered to my workplace or home instead? Could it not just be a (new?) location for Amazon publishing and software development ventures, i.e. office space instead of retail space? Surely this would be exorbitantly and prohibitively priced warehouse space (which has to be close to zero to be economical).

    E.g. if you go here:

    there are seven pages of job listings for a 'New York, NY' location.

    1. Tom, I think it would include a lot of things. The WSJ's rep with sources that are 'in the know' is very good. They're conservative about anything like rumors and seem to be leaked-to.

      I imagine the 'store' will be a small area in all that -- but people working downtown or who just like to shop downtown would be the target. Maybe it's an experiment with a kiosk-like arrangement, tried in their own building area at first...


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