Amazon has warehouses — hundreds of them, miles of them. It has lockers and pop-up shipping containers. But it's never had a true, physical retail store, at least not until now. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Amazon plans to open its first physical store, and that it will be located in midtown Manhattan, right in the heart of New York City. It'll be located on 34th Street, right between the flagship Macy's store and the Empire State Building.
In a way, the store will reportedly be just an extension of what Amazon already does in its physical spaces. Amazon will accept returns at the location, and will use it as a mini-warehouse particularly tuned for same-day delivery of products in New York. You'll also be able to pick up online orders at the store, meaning you'll be able to buy online and get items even faster. Amazon may also use the store to show off its Kindle and Fire products, which seems like a spectacularly obvious thing to do but is evidently still only being considered.
Of course, there's potential to do much more. Amazon's been building to this: the company launched a tool for identifying products, a card-reader for buying them, and much more that suggests it could quickly build a full-fledged physical retail space. It's been rumored for years that Amazon would do this, and even now Amazon tells the Journal that this is just an experiment.
The store is apparently slated to be open in time for the holidays, and could be the beginning of an entirely new branch of competition between Amazon and its biggest brick-and-mortar competitors.