Amazon’s New Retail Plans Revealed

Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) brick-and-mortar retail plans could expand significantly with a number of ideas currently in the works. Amazon is exploring the possibility of new retail outlets in a wide variety of categories, including furniture, home appliances, and electronics. The emerging reports cite unnamed people familiar with the company’s discussions.

Amazon is reportedly exploring a variety of ways to retail appliances and furniture, as few are willing to pick up those two categories of goods without actually taking a look at the items in real space. Amazon is reportedly looking at various sales tactics, including using virtual reality to show shoppers how items might look in their actual homes. The company is also planning retail stores that “would serve as showcases where people could view the items in person, with orders being delivered to their homes.”

Amazon is also said to be exploring an electronics-store concept that would be much like Apple’s retail stores to sell Amazon devices and services, such as the company’s Echo smart home speaker and its Prime Video streaming service. Amazon declined to talk about any stores it has not announced publicly.

All of Amazon’s big retail store concepts are still exploratory and may never come to fruition. Groups within Amazon are often encouraged to come up with zany initiatives, of which many are shelved after further discussion. An Amazon spokesman said in a statement, “We are always thinking about new ways to serve customers, but thinking is different than planning.”

Amazon could derive big benefits from its move to a mixed ecommerce-retail model. Amazon has recently opened five Amazon Books stores, in Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, Portland and outside of Boston, with five more publicly announced for Walnut Creek, Calif.; Lynnfield Mass.; Parumus N.J.; New York City and Bellevue, Wash. The company is also preparing to open its first AmazonFresh Pickup locations in Seattle’s Ballard and SoDo neighborhoods. While signs have been installed at both locations, Amazon hasn’t said when they will open.

Amazon is reportedly delaying the public launch of the first high-tech Amazon Go convenience store. Amazon’s first Amazon Go store is currently in private testing in downtown Seattle. According to reports, the tracking technology inside the store hasn’t been working reliably when the store is busy.

According to the reports, the company has also been honing in on its plans to build new brick-and mortar stores for India. The move would unlock potential in one of the world’s largest markets, which is still dominated by open-air street bazaars. Amazon’s internal code name for its India grocery plans has been revealed as Project Everest.