Amazon to Open its First Brick-and-Mortar Apparel Store
The first Amazon Style store, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, California, will open its doors later this year, the company announced Thursday. The store will feature women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands, with prices catering to a wide range of shoppers. At roughly 30,000 square feet, the retail space is around the size of a typical T.J. Maxx location, but smaller than the average department store. And as one might expect, the store will feature technology to streamline the shopping experience, including within its fitting rooms and at checkout.
Total Retail's Take: Amazon is expanding its physical footprint into the crowded apparel space, but is doing so on the strength of its growing online sales in the category. Last March, Wells Fargo said Amazon surpassed Walmart as the No. 1 apparel retailer in the U.S., and estimated that Amazon’s apparel and footwear sales in the U.S. grew by approximately 15 percent in 2020 to more than $41 billion.
In a statement emailed to Total Retail, Jaime Bettencourt, senior vice president, North America and global services account management at Mood Media, an in-store media solutions company dedicated to elevating the customer experience, offered the following thoughts on Amazon's announcement: "The tangibility of brick-and-mortar together with in-person interactions plus the immediacy of taking the item home is what customers are yearning for, and remains missing with an online-only transaction. Especially when it comes to clothing and accessories, shoppers want the touch/feel experience of being able to try on and compare options to one another. Add in online shopping perks like instant sales, expanded inventory and selection, and convenience, and combined you’ve got the perfect 'phygital' mix. That’s exactly what Amazon is doing by opening its own physical retail store. Being able to first view a product online, compare it to others in terms of pricing, style, etc., and then go in-person to make the final decision on that specific item — possibly with another human there for recommendations — is an unmatched sales funnel, particularly in fashion. Leveraging tech in-store allows a more personalized and frictionless experience for the customer while also enabling Amazon to gain insights, validate data, and potentially create more profitability long term."