The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled efforts in Amazon ( AMZN -2.66% ) open new retail stores that would sell consumer electronics and household items at discounted prices.
Bloomberg reported today that the e-commerce giant studied the new concept last year, but as the coronavirus pandemic worsened, it was forced to prioritize its employees to manage daily demand and the launch of its Fresh grocery store.
The aging inventory of unsold goods in Amazon’s warehouses has caused the online retailer to consider new physical store locations. It already runs a number of concept stores, including Amazon Go convenience stores, 4-star specialty stores and Books, and several Presented by Amazon locations. Of course, it also operates hundreds of Whole Foods Markets and regularly opens Fresh stores.
An unnamed source told Bloomberg that the idea of a consumer electronics and housewares store was “a way to be able to clean up warehouses and browse inventory without having to destroy it.”
Also among the ideas discussed was opening pop-up stores in parking lots to sell the goods (Amazon also runs a handful of stores called Amazon Pop Ups). “It aligns with Amazon’s value proposition, keeping price front and center and giving customers access to low-cost products,” the source said.
Discount stores would be similar in concept to the 30-store Amazon 4-Star chain, which offers a very curated selection of products in product categories that are typically rated four stars or higher on Amazon’s website.
Although the idea has been put on the back burner due to the pandemic, it’s an idea that could come back to life at any time.
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