Amazon could soon be expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint and in doing so might be opening closeout stores for products such as kitchenware items.
A report from Bloomberg indicated the “outlets” would be stocked with inventory from Amazon warehouses that would be deeply discounted.
With continued retail consolidation over the past few years, real estate is certainly available for Amazon to open permanent or temporary locations in malls, strip centers and even outlet malls.
In addition, would an apparel-only retailer be willing to carve out space in its stores and create a store-within-a-store concept for Amazon? This would allow the e-commerce giant to sell various hardlines including kitchen products, electronics and other related items, potentially giving a boost to foot traffic.
Additionally, Amazon has shown a willingness to partner with other retailers. For several years now, Kohl’s stores have served as a dropoff center for consumer returns to Amazon, a partnership that officials with the department store have cited as helping boost foot traffic.
The concept of a closeout store for hardlines only would also put Amazon in greater competition with the likes of TJX’s Home Goods, Big Lots and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. Each of these retailers has enjoyed success in recent years in selling lower-priced brand-name goods to consumers.
Citing sources familiar with Amazon, the Bloomberg report said the strategy — if implemented — would allow the company to be able to clean out warehouses and keep items at low prices in front of consumers.
While online selling is its bread-and-butter, Amazon is no stranger to store operations. The company has 96 stores and seven pop-up locations, according to information on its website. Also, its Whole Foods Market grocery stores currently has more than 500 locations.