The line is getting even more blurry between online retailing and physical shopping: Amazon.com, the e-commerce giant that has put fear in the hearts of brick-and-mortar retailers, appears to be going old-school this holiday season and reportedly opening its own store in New York.
The store, set to open on 34th Street in Manhattan, is just the latest sign that online merchants are learning the value of offering a physical store to shoppers.
Online retailers “are seeing there is something to be gained by having an experience for consumers that is hands-on, that is experiential in nature instead of click and buy,” said analyst Ken Perkins of Retail Metrics Inc.
Amazon.com would be the biggest name to date to take a stab at traditional retailing.
There have been rumors for years that the Seattle company would go this route. Two years ago, the Internet buzzed with speculation that Amazon was hunting for a brick-and-mortar space in its hometown. The retailer has also set up metal lockers around the country in places like 7-Eleven stores so people can conveniently pick up packages.
The Manhattan space will contain a selection of inventory to accommodate local same-day delivery and shoppers who want to pick up products bought online, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed sources.