Discount stores

Etailer planned to open physical discount stores before the pandemic

Forget the virtual shopping cart: Amazon aims to open discount homewares and electronics stores in the US, reports Bloomberg. In an article published yesterday, the outlet reports that plans for the stores were in their infancy last year, but discussions were halted due to pandemic concerns.

Discount stores would be a way for Amazon to get rid of products that aren’t selling well and offer budget-conscious customers those items at discounted prices, a person who worked for Amazon told Bloomberg. “It’s a way to be able to clean warehouses and go through inventory without having to destroy it,” said the employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The choice categories of housewares and electronics choices were decided based on their relatively small requirements for shelf space.

Over the past few years, Amazon has been slowly creeping closer to brick-and-mortar territory. In 2019, the company closed its 87 pop-up stores, which showcased its in-house devices and products in malls and stores across the United States. These pop-up shops were meant to be a test run to gauge the potential success of branching out into more physical spaces.

“After extensive review, we have decided to discontinue our Pop-Up Kiosk program,” an Amazon spokesperson said. The New York Times in 2019, “and we’re growing Amazon Books and Amazon 4-Star instead, where we provide a more comprehensive customer experience and a wider selection.”

Amazon currently operates more than 100 physical locations, including Amazon Go, Amazon 4 Star, Amazon Books, etc. Plans for potential homewares and electronics stores remain under wraps as Amazon has yet to officially confirm or comment on this new venture. We’ll let you know when they do!

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