Amazon’s New Brick-And-Mortar Store Concept Is Now Open for Business
After experimenting with and ultimately being forced to close the 4-Star concept, Amazon (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report is trying to give the brick-and-mortar thing another go with a clothing store.
Amazon Style, the e-commerce giant’s first physical fashion store, has opened its doors in the Glendale, Calif., suburb of Los Angeles on May 25. It is a fashion shop selling clothing, accessories and shoes for both men and women.
As Retail Dive first reported, it will sell mid-range brands like Calvin Klein, Steve Madden and Levi’s (LEVI) – Get Levi Strauss & Co. Class A Report as well as higher-end items from Lacoste, Vince, Theory and Rebecca Taylor but no luxury.
Skincare, hair and makeup and bath and body products will also be available for purchase.
What Will You Find At Amazon Go?
Similarly to Amazon’s other brick-and-mortar concepts, Amazon Style will attempt to merge the in-person and online shopping experiences.
Each item will come with a QR code that can be scanned to learn the details, ratings and available sizes of a given item. They will also be able to ask for a particular size or item to be sent to a fitting room or counter for payment (no more calling awkwardly from the change room?).
Customers will also be able to buy an item online and arrange for pick-up at the physical location. The space will take up over 30,000 square feet and, expectedly, have touchscreens everywhere.
As the Amazon empire grew, it has launched a number of in-house clothing brands over the years — examples include Cable Stitch, Lark & Ro and Amazon Essentials.
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An Amazon spokesperson told TheStreet that the store will also have a selection of in-store brands like Amazon Essentials, Core 10, The Drop, Goodthreads and Daily Ritual.
“When perusing the store’s bouquet of cottagecore maxi dresses, Kendall & Kylie blazers and, yes, a whole section dedicated to Y2K apparel, one doesn’t just pick an item off the rack and take it with you while you shop,” Drew Grant, a GeekWire reporter who had a chance to visit the new location in L.A., writes. “Instead, each rack has a barcode that you can scan via the Amazon Shopping app, which has your sizes pre-loaded from previous purchases.”
Why Have Past Brick-And-Mortar Locations Floundered?
While the latest venture is tailored specifically to fashion, the closest concept tried by Amazon were its 4-Star stores. The physical stores that Amazon launched in 2018 would display and sell items that received high ratings online.
The selection would change regularly and feature everything from food and accessories to toys, tech and various home items.
The concept had initially proved fairly popular and, by 2019, Amazon had started opening 4-Star expanding from big cities like New York and Seattle to the suburbs. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US in 2020, in-store shopping ground to a halt and Amazon closed all of its 4-Star locations alongside other brick-and-mortar concepts like Amazon Books and Pop Up.
By opening Amazon Style, Jeff Bezos’ brainchild is likely betting on a resurgence of in-store shopping during the pandemic.
While many analysts pegged the lukewarm reception of many Amazon’s brick-and-mortar concepts as independent of the pandemic, retail numbers so far seem to provide hope for visitors as Commerce Department data found that in-store purchases of clothing and accessories rose by 22% between March 2021 and 2022.
Amazon shares are down nearly 35% year-over-year.
UPDATE: This article has been updated to include additional information about the store from Amazon.