Amazon is popping open the doors on its latest brick-and-mortar retail concept Friday in Seattle with the arrival of Amazon Pop Up, a rotating shopping experience where customers can go hands-on with a themed selection of items.
The store at 2101 Westlake Ave. is at the base of re-Invent, Amazon’s newest high-rise office tower, and is next door to Amazon 4-star, another physical retail offering from the tech giant. The Pop Up opening comes just a week after the debut of Amazon Go Grocery, the company’s first full-scale, cashierless grocery experience, in the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Amazon Pop Up does not rely on the high-tech wizardry and camera work of the Go stores. GeekWire got an inside look this week at the sleek and relatively bare bones set up and customers will have to pay at a cash register before exiting — unless they choose to just use the Amazon app to scan a QR code and purchase an item for delivery.
It’s all about allowing customers to “feel, touch and see” stuff before making a purchase.
The current theme is “Everything Sleep. From A to Zzz” and features a selection of AmazonBasics-branded bedding including sheets, comforters, blankets and storage items for the bedroom. There is a mattress and mattress pads on display as well as various Amazon devices including Echo smart speakers and the latest Fire TV Stick and Fire tablet. All of the items are available online.
Digital price tags on shelving can be updated automatically and they feature any particular item’s star review as well as an accompanying card with a standout review from an Amazon customer. The shop is running an in-store promotion of 20 percent off to mark the opening.
The 1,100-square-foot space isn’t completely filled out right now. Other Amazon Pop Up locations generally “float” in mall settings, and the Seattle shop has plenty of empty space at the start, with the bedding display situated in the middle of the store. Bigger build-outs will follow, a company spokesperson said.
The sixth location follows openings in Glendale, Calif., Lone Tree, Colo., Skokie, Ill., Las Vegas, and The Woodlands, Texas.
Last year, Amazon shuttered nearly 90 “pop-up” stores in malls across the U.S. that showcased the company’s devices. Soon after that, the company quietly started promoting the new concept, then called Presented by Amazon. The new Pop Up stores, the company said, are not a revival of the shuttered device kiosks. The themed stores took over the Pop Up name in November 2019.
Themes at other stores have included cameras and accessories, an immersive experience from the Food Network, Barbie’s 50th Anniversary, Marvel’s Avengers, Fisher Price “Let’s Be Kids,” an Audible reading room, Holiday Toy List selections from Disney, and more.
The Pop Up’s focus on a particular theme differentiates the concept from 4-star, which features a wide variety of customer favorites.
Amazon’s growing footprint of physical stores of all types plays into a the company’s recurring mantra, that it wants to give customers options when it comes to their shopping preferences, whether it’s online or in person, with a checkout experience or without.
According to the tech giant’s brick-and-mortar website, the company has 26 Amazon Go locations that are open, coming soon or being renovated, 23 Amazon Books stores, 21 Amazon 4-star locations, six Amazon Pop Ups and two AmazonFresh Pickup facilities. Plus, there’s the new Amazon Go Grocery and the network of Whole Foods stores. Amazon posted $4.4 billion in revenue last quarter in its physical stores category.
Amazon Pop Up in Seattle is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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