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Think physical retail is dead? Well, the head of the world’s largest company (measured by market capitalization) disagrees.
On January 20, Amazon announced plans to open its first physical clothing store in Glendale, California. Called Amazon Style, the 30,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar store will open in suburban Los Angeles “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 apparel, footwear and accessories, centered around a phone-first shopping experience.
The store will offer advanced technological 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 equipped with touchscreens. Shoppers can browse additional options, rate items, and scan QR codes to request different sizes or styles delivered directly to their room. The fitting room screens will even be able to offer recommendations based on the clothes sampled.
“Our machine-learning algorithms produce real-time, personalized recommendations for each customer as they shop,” Amazon Style chief executive Simoina Vasen said in the company’s announcement. “As customers browse the store and scan for items that catch their eye, we’ll recommend choices just for them.”
Amazon Style will build on its megalithic e-commerce collection to deliver what it hopes will be unparalleled fashion selection. Based on the expertise of fashion curators and feedback from millions of Amazon.com customers, shoppers will find great looks in a wide range of price points – with deals ranging from $5 socks to shirts at $500.
It may seem like a mess, but Amazon, of course, has a plan for it. In order to maintain a clean look, the store will only display individual garments, keeping inventory stored behind the walls of the store. Amazon’s vast network of fulfillment centers will allow Amazon Style to be frequently updated with new items to discover with each visit.
With its dominance of e-commerce, why would Amazon feel the need to build physical locations? A national Momentive study of approximately 6,000 adults found that more than 40% of people start shopping online. However, even at the height of the pandemic, data from eMarketer revealed that more than 85% of retail sales are still happening in physical locations.
Amazon Style will finalize its plans in the coming months by inviting select customers to preview the new store ahead of its opening later this year.
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