Amazon will reportedly open its first storefront across the street from the Empire State Building and just one block from Herald Square at 7 West 34th Street.
The online retail giant plans to operate a mini-warehouse where customers can pick up same-day deliveries, exchange or return products and pick up online orders, sources told the Wall Street Journal. The location could also serve as a showroom for Amazon’s new smartphone, its set-top TV box and its line of tablets and e-readers, according to the newspaper.
The size of the space, length of the lease and the inventory Amazon will keep at the Midtown location remain unknown. The Journal’s sources warned that the plan could fall through, and that the store could be shuttered if deemed a failure.
Amazon is notorious for operating on razor-thin margins. This would be its first experience as a company managing the costs of a physical retail location.
Vornado Realty Trust owns the 12-story building, which was once a department store and counts Mango and Express among its street-level tenants.
On a recent conference call cited by the Journal, Vornado Chief Financial Office Stephen Theriot called out the properties high ceilings and large, open floor plates.
Amazon currently has offices in Manhattan at SL Green’s 1350 Sixth Avenue, and reportedly scouted the Durst Organization’s 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 44th Street earlier this year. [WSJ] – Tom DiChristopher