Amazon Goes Bricks and Mortar; is it a good idea?

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As more and more shoppers have moved from seeing the world in terms of bricks or clicks to bricks and clicks, it has seemed like only a matter of time before Amazon would open a physical store.  The time apparently is now, as according to articles in the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review and Fortune, Amazon is opening a showroom and kiosks in New York and California.

Here is how Fortune puts it about the company’s plans in California:  “Amazon.com has confirmed plans to get into the brick-and-mortar business this holiday season, saying it is opening pop-up kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento as a way to show off its tablets and other gadgets.” 

Harvard Business Review writer, Amy Bernstein, in her article “Amazon’s Brick-and-Mortar Store Shouldn’t Come as a Surprise,” notes that Amazon’s putting an outlet right near Macy’s in Mid-Town Manhattan is a response to its bricks and mortar competitors who have been opening ecommerce sites as well as an acknowledgement that people like to feel a product before they buy it.

 

It is an expected and interesting move by Amazon but one that I find a little perplexing.  How does a company with a seemingly infinite array of products in numerous categories translate to a finite shopping experience in which only a limited number of items can actually be touched?   It seems to me that it could confuse the brand message while not significantly increasing sales.

Jeff Bezos is a smart guy and he gets a lot right.  Let’s see how this move goes.

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