Is Amazon planning on opening physical electronics stores in the US? From what we are hearing, the answer may very well be yes!
According to www.retailp.com, the e-commerce major has been experimenting with pop-up stores for the past two years that host a range of Amazon electronics, including the Echo, Fire tablets and the Fire TV gateway apart from electronics manufactured by other companies – like Bose headphones and Bluetooth speakers to name a few. The shops have been popping up in places like San Francisco, Sacramento, New York, Tel Aviv and even Berlin.
Speculation is rife that physical electronics stores are on the cards, especially after a mall CEO in the US blurted out during a press conference that Amazon was planning on opening “300-400 physical stores”. The CEO later retracted his statement, but the grapevine has started buzzing and there are whispers that the electronics pop-up shops are trial for actual brick-and-mortar stores.
The physical stores project, which has been a closely guarded secret for some time now, started attracting attention since Amazon opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore, Amazon Books, in Seattle last fall. The launch of the bookstore near the University of Washington sent retailers in a tizzy.
The store sells a few thousand books chosen in part based on customer reviews from Amazon.com alongwith Kindle Fire tablets and the Echo voice-controlled speaker. Now the American e-commerce behemoth is planning on launching a second bookstore in San Diego, this summer.
THE MAN BEHIND THE MOVE
Sources say the man behind the Kindle – Steve Kessel – is leading Amazon’s project to create the retail stores of the future. Kessel is a longtime Amazon executive whose team launched the first Kindle e-reader and who is very tight with CEO Jeff Bezos.
He joined Amazon in 1999 and left in 2011 or 2012 to take a sabbatical. Insiders have been quoted as saying by agencies that he started working on this initiative when he came back from his sabbatical.