After 20 years of selling a dizzying array of products online—including bricks and mortar—Amazon.com may be moving into new territory with plans for its first brick-and-mortar store. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the New York City store, in a prime 34th Street location across from the Empire State Building, will mostly function as a place where people can pick up goods ordered online, but it will also give people a chance to take a look at Amazon devices like Kindles before buying. Amazon plans to have the store open in time for holiday shopping, and it could be the first of many nationwide if the experiment is a success, the sources say.
Retail analysts say the move could help the company take advantage of the growing popularity of ordering things online and picking them up in-store, as well as boost sales of Amazon gadgets. "There's still a segment of the population that's touchy-feely," an analyst at Creative Strategies tells USA Today. "They want to see the product up close and have it shown to them." Amazon, which was rumored to be planning a store in Seattle two years ago, declined to comment on its New York City plans, saying only that it has "made no announcements about a location in Manhattan." (Read more Amazon.com stories.)