Think physical retail is dead? Well, the head of the world’s largest company (as measured by market cap) disagrees.
On January 20, Amazon announced that it plans to open its first physical clothing store in Glendale, California. Called Amazon Style, the 30,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar retail location will open in the Los Angeles suburb “later this year” at The Americana at Brand, a popular SoCal shopping destination. The Jeff Bezos-led mega corporation’s first-ever physical apparel outlet will offer clothing, footwear, and accessories, centered on a phone-first shopping experience.
The store will feature tech-forward upgrades to old-school big box stores, combining the latest fashions with innovative technology and world-class operations. Using the Amazon Shopping app, customers can send items to fitting rooms, which are outfitted with touchscreens. Shoppers can browse additional options, rate items, and scan QR codes to request different sizes or styles to be delivered directly to their room. Fitting room screens will even be able to offer recommendations based on clothing sampled.
“Our machine learning algorithms produce tailored, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop,” Amazon Style managing director Simoina Vasen said in the company’s announcement. “As customers browse the store and scan items that catch their eye, we’ll recommend picks just for them.”
Amazon Style will lean on its megalithic e-commerce collection to offer what it hopes is an unmatched fashion selection. Based on fashion curator expertise and feedback from millions of Amazon.com customers, shoppers will find great looks at a broad range of prices — with offerings ranging from $5 socks to $500 shirts.
This might sound like a mess, but Amazon, of course, has a plan for that. In order to maintain an uncluttered appearance, the store will only display individual clothing, keeping inventory stocked behind store walls. Amazon’s vast fulfillment center network will allow Amazon Style to be frequently updated with new items for people to discover upon each visit.
With its domination of e-retail, why would Amazon feel the need to build physical locations? A national Momentive study of approximately 6,000 adults found that over 40% of people begin their shopping ventures online. Even as the pandemic crested, however, eMarketer data found that over 85% of retail still happens in physical locations.
Amazon Style will finalize plans in the coming months by inviting select customers for a sneak peek to experience the new store before opening later this year.
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