Amazon is said to be preparing to set up a brick-and-mortar store in midtown Manhattan at 7 West 34th St., just in time for the holidays and in a location that's perfect for just-in-time deliveries across the metro area.
After 20 years of building a foundation in e-commerce and striking fear into the hearts of traditional retailers, Jeff Bezos is said to be experimenting with a physical store strategy, unnamed sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Back in 2012, Bezos stated he was interested in offering Amazon's services in a traditional retail outlet and wanted Amazon's approach to be a "truly differentiated idea" as the company doesn't do cloning too well.
"We don't do a me-too product offering very well," said Bezos in a 2012 interview. "When I look at physical retail stores, it's very well-served. The people who operate physical retail stores are very good at it. The question we would always have before we would embark on such an thing is what's the idea, what would we do that would be different, how would it be better... we don't want to be redundant."
Amazon is said to be planning to use the store in Manhattan as both a showroom and a delivery outlet, according to the anonymous sources. The showroom will features Amazon's latest products and likely allow customers to spend some time up close with devices before they hit the market.
"Opening a physical location is 'about marketing the Amazon brand'," Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer said to the Journal. "Same-day delivery [within New York], ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on. Amazon needs to be at the center of that."
The alleged store's purported 7 West 34th St. address doesn't seem like a sound location if Amazon is looking for an outlet for deliveries, according to Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru. The location is near Macy's Herald Square store and across from the Empire State Building.
"Amazon's value proposition is its huge selection and shipping that comes to me," Mulpuru says. "Both those aren't going to happen at a physical store in Manhattan."
While Amazon isn't ready to announce anything about a store in Manhattan, Microsoft already has. The Redmond tech company recently revealed that it wasn't satisfied with the kiosks it has maintained around Manhattan and announced that it was leasing a space for a flagship store at 677 Fifth Avenue.