The store would be located on 34th Street in Manhattan, close to a shopping district that includes the gigantic Macy’s flagship and serve as a mini-warehouse,. This Amazon venue is used for same-day delivery within New York, as well as returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders.
Sources told the WallStreet Journal that Amazon might use the space to showcase its own devices like Kindle e-readers, Fire smartphones or Fire TV set-top boxes. If the New York store works out, it could serve as a model for a rollout to other U.S. cities.
Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research, told Fortune magazine that the space sounds “closer to a post-office” than a retail store and that it remains to be seen what economic boost the location will provide to the company.
“They need to figure out what resonates with shoppers with respect to Amazon in a physical store,” Mulpuru says. “Do they want to look at product? Do they just want to pick up product? Do they want to look at Amazon electronics equipment?”
One affect that an Amazon retail presence could have on the marketplace is in accelerating deliveries. Traditional brick and mortar chains like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus are testing same-day delivery, while others are trying out a service offered by Google.
Macy’s is now using all 800 or so of its stores to help its online efforts, while others like Target are gearing up for that capability.
A number of online-only retailers have experimented with physical stores of late, showing the enduring value of brick-and-mortar locations. They include eyewear retailer Warby Parker, Bonobos, Birchbox, and Rent-the-Runway. [24×7]