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My Customer – Why is Amazon launching a physical store – and what will it mean for retail?

Bruno Berthezene

Bruno Berthezene

October 10, 2014

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According to reports, Amazon is set to open its first bricks-and-mortar store in New York City in time for the holiday season.

The Wall Street Journal claims that the online retailing giant will launch its first physical shop in Manhattan, specifically 7 West 34th Street – a location that has a staggering footfall thanks to its proximity to the Empire State Building, which attracts over 4 million visitors a year.

The WSJ claims it will serve as a mini-warehouse and a click-and-collect destination, as well as cater for product returns and same-day deliveries in the city.

So if the reports are correct, why is Amazon – the company that has pushed many traditional retailers to the brink of extinction with its aggressive online business model – moving into bricks-and-mortar retail?

“The opening of Amazon’s first physical store is a great indicator that the High Street will never die,” notes Martin Smethurst, MD of retail at Wincor Nixdorf. “Consumers still, and always will, want a shopping experience where they can touch, feel and play with products before they purchase – particularly when it comes to hi-tech or high ticket items.

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