After amassing an e-commerce empire by disrupting brick and mortar retail for the better part of three decades, Amazon is now taking the competition into the real world.
The e-commerce behemoth is planning to open “several” large brick-and-mortar retail locations, similar to department stores, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Averaging 30,000 square feet, the first stores will debut in Ohio and California.
It’s uncertain what the stores will sell, although sources tell the Journal they will likely feature clothes, home furnishings and electronics sold under the company’s private-label brands, such as Amazon Basics.
The news follows a year of stellar earnings for Amazon as the pandemic has pushed customers towards online shopping. In the last quarter, Amazon’s net income increased to $7.8 billion, compared with $5.2 billion during the same period in 2020, according to the company’s earnings.
Department stores, on the other hand, have struggled as foot traffic in malls has declined. Some department stores, like Macy’s, have shifted to opening smaller format retail locations as part of a pivot to e-commerce.
It has previously been reported that Amazon was looking into partnering with mall operators to bring fulfillment centers into empty spaces left behind by big-box retailers.
[WSJ] — Sasha Jones