Amazon has made the company’s point to revolutionize the way we shop very clear in the recent years of the company’s development until now. The company whose business plan shrinks the size of the departmental stores across the globe is now heading towards becoming one. Some of the first of such Amazon retail stores are expected to be opened soon in the city of California and Ohio. The move here is to capture the market share that was left by some major department store chains, including Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus Group, Barneys and JCPenney, which are to be sold and placed under bankruptcy protection or to be closed down completely.
The news breaks after Amazon passed Walmart in overall sales to become the world’s largest retail seller outside China. In the year 2017, Amazon acquired Whole Foods, a supermarket chain with over 400 plus stores, for $13.4 billion. Then, the industry experts saw this as a move to look tall against Walmart dominance as the brick and mortar retailer of the time by fortifying the physical holdings that came with acquisition of Whole Foods. A report from the year 2018 says that Amazon had a share of 43.5% of American online spending and the forecast was that Amazon will own 49% of the total American online spending by the end of that year. After acquiring Whole Foods 4 year later comes the play as this looks as an attempt to make over the consumer-facing food industry, using the stores for walk in and home delivery and return hubs.
The year 2018 brought the Amazon Go store, a cashier-less store which had no queues for billing and payment. The miracle is supposed to be happening by entrusting the sensors installed across the store like, camera, weight and snack items being marked with special camera recognisable prints (something like a QR code). All these things bring the whole hassle free experience which has been a serious bug in typical departmental stores today. The payment is supposed to be charged on your amazon account (provided you’ve a credit card and it is saved with your Amazon account).
With the upcoming opening of the stores, the strategy seems to be the same and to expand the sales in the retail market as well. Amazon is also promoting the private-label clothing, household items and electronics as well as independent brands. The clothing industry is a difficult business to trade in, as the fashion shifts happen every now and then, people’s taste for fashion mainly relies on some specific brands which use this as a status symbol.
Amazon trying to get back to the brick and mortar type business is deeply ironic, as it had destroyed the need for such an old school way of buying and selling.