Amazon (AMZN) reportedly intends to launch several brick-and-mortar department stores, starting in Ohio and California and sized around 30,000 square feet. The news came from The Wall Street Journal, which cited knowledgeable sources. Physical stores will help the tech company extend its reach in sales of clothing, household items, electronics and other areas, people familiar with the matter said.

The footprint of the facilities is smaller than the typical 100,000 square feet for department stores. But they’ll be bigger than most of Amazon’s other brick-and-mortar outlets.

The Amazon stores will have top consumer brands and the company’s private-label products, the sources said. Plans for the stores could change.

Amazon has gradually gone physical over the years, starting with a bookstore in 2015 before branching out into grocery stores and other facilities. It purchased upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market in 2017. Amazon also has established Amazon Go convenience stores and Amazon Fresh grocery stores.

Amazon’s physical-store sales rose 11% in the second quarter, according to The Journal. Amazon shares recently traded at $3,188 (U.S.), down 0.4%. The stock slid 4% in the six months through August 18.

Amazon recently unveiled plans for a new robotics fulfilment centre in Tallahassee, Fla., as part of a plan to build six new facilities in the state to expand its delivery and supply chain. The 630,000-square-foot facility will create 1,000 new jobs, although robots will do the heavy lifting at the plant. The human employees will “pick, pack and ship small items,” like books and toys, to customers, Amazon said. The facility is slated to open in the Florida capital city in late 2022.

“Amazon knows that the future of retail is multichannel… most consumers still shop using a combination of stores and online,” Neil Saunders, managing director of retail analysts GlobalData, said. “Stores will help Amazon do a much better job of showcasing its offer,” he added.

Source: The Star
Source: Wall Street Journal
Source: BBC
Source: CNBC