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Amazon Will Open 100 Retail Stores (businessinsider.com) 167

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Amazon plans to open "as many as 100" retail stores in shopping malls by the end of next year, according to Business Insider. The 300- to 500-square-foot stores will sell familiar Amazon hardware products like Kindles and Fire TV, "but the broader goal is to drive more traffic to Amazon's online store, as these devices make it easier to purchase items there" -- and to promote Amazon's Echo personal assistant.

Amazon stores have already quietly opened in 12 states, including six stores in California and more stores in New York, Texas, Virginia, and Massachusetts. But now the brick-and-mortar stores "have emerged from the test phase with a goal to expand and grow," according to one Amazon job posting, and Business Insider reports that new Amazon stores "are popping up almost every week in shopping malls across the country."

The article has pictures of the new Amazon stores, and points out that the company also experienced disappointing results from an earlier experiment with Amazon trucks.
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Amazon Will Open 100 Retail Stores

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  • by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:03AM (#52868891)

    Best Buy is already the place you go to before you buy it cheaper on Amazon. This will kill nearby ones.

    • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:09AM (#52868915)

      This just in: Retail stores like Best Buy do this thing called "price matching". Film at 11!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        Sometimes. And then I have to find a salesman, show them the price, argue them into it (as they try to claim they only price match brick and mortar), and deal with their hard sales and trying to talk me into buying a warranty. I'd rather just buy it on Amazon and not deal with their salesmen. Unless I absolutely want it today I'm not even going to ask them to match.

        • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:28AM (#52868979)

          Sometimes.

          Nope, all the time. I've never once had a price match not accepted from online stores like Amazon, Newegg, etc. by Best Buy, Frys, etc.

          And then I have to find a salesman, show them the price, argue them into it (as they try to claim they only price match brick and mortar), and deal with their hard sales and trying to talk me into buying a warranty. I'd rather just buy it on Amazon and not deal with their salesmen. Unless I absolutely want it today I'm not even going to ask them to match.

          Nope, you simply walk up to the cashier, show them the price on Amazon and they price match. Every time I've done it it takes less than a minute at Best Buy. And I've done this at multiple locations.

          • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

            Yeah, just don't care. Buying on Amazon is still simpler, just doing that.

            • ...and then you pay UPS/Fedex $50 for delivery after saving $5 on the price?
          • by amxcoder ( 1466081 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:44AM (#52869017)
            This only works with items that don't have retailer specific model numbers... (I'm looking at you TV's!!). The common ploy for a long time with the big retail chains is to make deals with the manufacturers to basically sell them the items under custom model #'s that are specific to their store. So you'll see the same exact TV at BestBuy will be a XYZ-65-01, and at WalMart it will be a XYZ-65-02, and at Amazon.com it will be an XYZ-65-03. Therefore, even though it's the same device, the model numbers don't match exactly, giving the retailer an excuse to not price match. This has been a standard ploy for a very long time, going all the way back to when GoodGuys and Circuit City were still in business. Not all electronics manufacturers participate in this practice, for instance a Sony PS4 is a Sony PS4 everywhere, but my point is, it doesn't always work.
            • in which case you inform them "OK then I'll buy the same unit as model XYZ-65-99 from $vendor instead. Thank you for your time."

              After they hear that enough times and units sold drops they will either listen or fold.

              • "After they hear that enough times and units sold drops they will either listen or fold."

                That sounds good in theory, but the "sales" people you tell that to have no decision making ability to make such changes.

                • That sounds good in theory, but the "sales" people you tell that to have no decision making ability to make such changes.

                  And they usually don't care one way or another if an item is sold.

                • But.. I've had friends who have worked at Worst Buy, as has my brother, and they all have told me that they hold regular meetings (often all-hands-on at 5:00am or 6:00am o.O - they're as bad as Sprawl*Mart reputedly is) and although they're not on commission the departments do have sales quotas. Presumably details such as feedback from customers is shared at such meetings and is(??? or should be!) shared higher up the food chain when they identify that #itemIdenticalToAmazonItemExceptForSKU) sales numbers a

            • by quetwo ( 1203948 )

              This actually started with Wallmart. When Wallmart started carrying electronics, they were demanding to be cheaper than their competitors. They used their strength as a retailer to force the vendors to make custom versions of their products to accomplish this. On printers, they would ship without ink, for computers they would have 30 or 60 day warranty instead of 1 or 2 years. For TVs, they may have had certain featured disabled (for example, DVI ports were there, but you couldn't tune to them).

              MOST elect

          • Good to know! They didn't used to do it this way but I stopped dropping by there back when they wouldn't match so I'd no idea. The last thing we got there was a "buy online, pick up in store" deal which was surprisingly terrible: they couldn't find the item, and then found the last one out on the rack, having been opened and returned. So they discounted it, but I was still there far longer than I'd have expected.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Talking to another human being for 5 minutes is such an onerous task that you'd rather wait two days for something to show up in the mail?

          I go to Best Buy (or even Walmart) *after* I look on Amazon, because they'll price match and because if I buy from them I won't have to wait for days before I can play with my new toys. Granted there is tax, but I just consider it a fee for super-expedited shipping.

          • Depends on the item I'm purchasing, but yes. Especially when we're talking about best buy employees. Never has a good experience there.

          • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @02:04AM (#52869155) Homepage Journal

            Talking to another human being for 5 minutes is such an onerous task that you'd rather wait two days for something to show up in the mail?

            You left out a bit there. Compare:

            • Drive ten or fifteen minutes to the store.
            • Find the product you want.
            • Check Amazon reviews to make sure it isn't crap using your cell phone clumsily while standing in the relative discomfort of a busy store.
            • Notice that it is cheaper on Amazon.
            • Spend 5 minutes talking to a salesperson.
            • Spend ten or fifteen minutes driving back.

            Versus:

            • Find the product you want from the comfort of your home.
            • Check the Amazon reviews using your laptop in the comfort of your home.
            • Verify that it is cheaper at Amazon than local stores using Google.
            • Decide whether to bother driving for half an hour, spend five minutes haggling, and still lose 2-4% in credit card rewards just to get it two days sooner.
            • Say, "Screw it," and place the order online.
            • by rossdee ( 243626 )

              "Drive ten or fifteen minutes to the store"

              I live in a small city, the nearest decent size mall is over an hours drive away.

              and its about 3 hours to the MOA

            • For some of us, it's worse. I have a Walmart about 5 minutes away, but for anything else it's more like a 40-minute drive.

              It's a HUGE time savings for me to just order on Amazon or another online seller (these days, Amazon's prices aren't always the best so I make sure to look around), and then wait for it to arrive by USPS/FedEx.

              It wouldn't be much better if I moved closer to town either; the traffic in the city is so bad that you're still looking at at least an hour just to go buy something even if you l

            • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
              You forgot, verify that you are buying from a reputable Amazon vendor and still get a counterfeit item since they pooled your vendor of choice's stock with the grifter vendor stock.
            • I'll do my own comparison.

              Amazon:
              Search for item on website on a Sunday. Place order. Item appears on doorstep Monday or Tuesday while I'm at work.

              Best Buy:
              Search for item on website on a Sunday. Place order. Decide if I want it that day, which means a special trip driving to the store for in store pick-up. Decide if I want it Monday, which means a short detour on my way home from work for in-store pickup. Decide if I can wait until Tuesday and not have to drive to Best Buy and have it delivered to my

          • Actually in this locale (and probably the markets where they're opening stores) they usually deliver either the same day or the next day for most items I want.
          • by nnull ( 1148259 )
            Most often Best Buy doesn't even have what I want anyways, so what's the point? A lot of their stores are now empty husks of what they used to be. And then you go to their online store, find what you want, but realize it's not in the Best Buy store, but from another store, so you won't see it in two days anyways.

            So Amazon it is.
            • I went into a Best Buy for the first time in about a year a few weeks ago. I was amazed. Not-exaggerating, over 25% of the store was devoted to Samsung Phones, Another 30% devoted to various other phones. I was dumbfounded that they've been reduced to just a cell-phone store with a few other items here and there.

              It's the same kind of feeling I get when I walk into sports/athletics stores and realize that they don't actually sell much sports equipment anymore, they're all just clothing stores now.

        • Same reason I get my oil changes at walmart. Pay a little more but don't have to deal with some twat telling you that you need extra work that you don't actually need. The worst walmart does is try to sell you an air filter or some kind of engine cleaning fluid when you don't need either, but saying no once is enough.

        • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @02:01AM (#52869151)

          Sometimes. And then I have to find a salesman, show them the price, argue them into it (as they try to claim they only price match brick and mortar), and deal with their hard sales and trying to talk me into buying a warranty. I'd rather just buy it on Amazon and not deal with their salesmen. Unless I absolutely want it today I'm not even going to ask them to match.

          In regards to Best Buy, I've had no problem price matching to major online stores (i.e. Amazon, Newegg, etc.) and I've had no problems with someone trying to talk me into a warranty (They ask at the register if I want the warranty, I say No, they complete my transaction). Of course, when I buy from Best Buy, I usually buy it online from BestBuy.com for pickup and then just go and pick it up. Why spend time in the store "browsing" if you don't have to?

          The one reason why I still buy some electronics from the Best Buy retail store is for returns. It's a lot easier to return a 65" TV or an A/V AMP to a retail outlet than it is to ship it back to Amazon, etc. Yes, the online outlets have services that do pickup/delivery but I prefer to deal with retail outlet for these items.

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        Yeah, then why does Best Buy not display the publicly available prices on their price matching terminals? I haven't bought from them in a long time, but the last time I did, they wouldn't match their own web site. They had a price-matching terminal, and would only match what you could find on there, and it was filtered, and the bestbuy.com displayed on it wasn't the public one. I pulled the site from my phone and showed them. They price matched their own web site then. I heard they got sued for that on
    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      Any book on demand printing :)
    • I thought Amazon was the anti-dote to high street retail, looks like we are going full circle
    • Best Buy is already the place you go to before you buy it cheaper on Amazon. This will kill nearby ones.

      Hooray! Best buy is shit in literally every way. I can enumerate the ways if you like, but a wildcard should be sufficient.

    • DISCLAIMER: I'm Canadian, Best Buy bought up Futureshop so I don't know how much of "Canadian Style" Best Buy is actually Futureshop and vice versa

      I went into Best Buy on Saturday with my mom (she wanted a composite extension cable, spoiler alert they suggested Amazon much to my amusement) anyway, I saw that they have a HUGE sections devoted to appliances, phones (and phone accessories yikes), laptops and LCD TVs but that was about it. They did have a shriveled, vestigial section for "movies" and "games" (a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:07AM (#52868905)

    I told you the internet was a fad.

  • It's the Ciiircle of Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiife
    And it mooooooves us aaaaaallllll...

  • by WindowsStar ( 4692767 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @12:31AM (#52868987)
    Anyone Remember CompuAdd?? or Gateway??, not many do, but after being giants in computer sales on line they opened retail stores and it crippled them and cost them going out of business. Amazon needs to be extremely careful, what is that quote, "those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it".
    • Anyone Remember CompuAdd?? or Gateway??, not many do, but after being giants in computer sales on line they opened retail stores and it crippled them and cost them going out of business. Amazon needs to be extremely careful, what is that quote, "those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it".

      Anyone Remember CompuAdd?? or Gateway??, not many do, but after being giants in computer sales on line they opened retail stores and it crippled them and cost them going out of business. Amazon needs to be extremely careful, what is that quote, "those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it".

      Gateway had a number of problems when it went into retail. First and foremost the were a low coat seller and retail stores added costs at a time when prices were starting to drop. They spent a lot of money making stores look like farms complete with silos but you couldn't actually buy and walk out with it. You had to wait for it to be shipped. In addition, they were selling a product that was no different from what you could het right seay at other stores nor did they offer anything uniguevso beyond the nov

    • by ranton ( 36917 )

      Anyone Remember CompuAdd?? or Gateway??, not many do, but after being giants in computer sales on line they opened retail stores and it crippled them and cost them going out of business. Amazon needs to be extremely careful, what is that quote, "those who don't remember the past are doomed to repeat it".

      This has nothing to do with making money selling Amazon devices. They likely lose some money on each device even before paying for a storefront. This is about selling devices which make it more likely those customers buy more products on Amazon. It is a completely different business model than Gateway stores, or even Apple / Microsoft stores.

    • Highlight is 500SF stores. They are basically going to destroy any mall they move into, as they reinforce their brand and the only things they actually sell are their own branded products (used to push you into more online sales). Say you were looking at buying a watch, found one you liked, but remember that reinforcement of Amazon as you entered the mall, so you check the price on Amazon. That simple action has likely compromised the retailer's margin, if they keep any chance at the sale at all. (Women

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      This is a simple-in-principle but hard-in-practice optimization problem. It runs like this: you have X investment dollars to divide between (A) on-line and (B) physical store selling; what is the optimal mix of A and B?

      If you can run exactly one of these operations at a profit, the answer is simple. But if you can run *both* of them at a (not necessarily equal) profit, you run into the principle of diminishing returns. You may reach a point where further marginal investment in A pays less than a marginal i

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It would be a good front for a drone delivery base. Secure the retail space and have them be hop stops for drones to recharge midway through their delivery. They should be buying old sears locations.

  • Please come to Australia, there are shitloads of Masters stores about to be vacated...
  • for the millennial generation?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    Catalogue Archive http://www.cdarchive.ca/ [cdarchive.ca]

  • by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @06:00AM (#52869549)

    I use Amazon to avoid?

  • Returns! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crow ( 16139 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @08:10AM (#52869765) Homepage Journal

    What I really hope this means is that if I need to return something that I bought on Amazon (if it was fulfilled by Amazon), and I need to return it, that I can do so by driving it to the Amazon store instead of dealing with packing it back up and shipping it back to them. That's the one part of online shopping that I hate dealing with, and this would give me another option.

    • You won't as that would obviously require more than three to five hundred square feet of retail space...
    • by Hodr ( 219920 )

      Is it really that onerous to stick it back in the box they shipped it in, slap the label on, and drop it off at the UPS store (or other mailbox store)? If so, you can even schedule UPS to pick it up. Even on a Saturday if you are too busy during the week.

  • It seems to me that Amazon's business model is based on the economies of NOT having the overheads associated with retail stores. I would guess that their growth is declining, or is projected to do so within two or three years. The last place for them to grow their market in North America is to start converting those customers who still shop at bricks 'n' mortar stores. Once Amazon manages to put a few of the traditional players out of business, I expect that they'll dramatically shrink the number of their o

    • I think they see it as marketing for their branded hardware... the books, movies, and video games they started with are the same wherever you buy them. Without holding a Kindle some people will be less likely to buy one.
    • Another thing amazon.com gives me is incredible selection. If something's for sale and can reasonably be shipped, I can probably buy it on Amazon. A brick and mortar store can't possibly do that.

  • The thing that would make these stores successful would be if they accepted returns of all Amazon-purchased merchandise there. That would instantly turn them into a clicks-and-mortar store.
  • Gee, let's go back to old tech, where the printed catalog was "the web" and the big catalogs opened stores to drive sales to their catalog - their names? Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Wards (extra credit for those who remember 'Monkey Wards")

  • AmazonBasics... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Not-a-Neg ( 743469 ) on Monday September 12, 2016 @10:11AM (#52870225)

    If they want to actually make any money from these pop-up stores they should sell some of the most popular AmazonBasics items which will also help increase exposure of that line of products. Things like: batteries, keyboards, mice, mouse pads, various cables, coffee mugs, and so on. Things that go along with other things a shopper might have already purchased in the mall and that will remind them of Amazon when they use them with other company's products.

  • I see Amazon opening stores, but with competition to deal with and local/land-based tax rates on realty/etc; it's gonna cost a lot to become Wal*Mart v2.01a.

    I'll watch for online prices to climb to compensate.

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