Just heard an interesting piece of gossip from a very credible source: Amazon is going to open retail stores and will start making its own branded merchandise.
. . . .
Let’s assume the rumor of Amazon launching big, Costco-like stores is true. What would it be like for folks in Oakland, Los Angeles or New Jersey to drive to a huge mall complex, past Target and Walmart and into an Amazon store?
The first scenario: the store could just be a showroom with display units of appliances and “geniuses” running around showing you the top 25 vacuums in action. Or the top 10 juicers actually making juice.
It could be Consumer Reports meets the Apple Store on crack!
There wouldn’t have to be any inventory, you would simply play with the stuff, talk to a professional and swipe your Amazon Prime credit card (or Amazon phone) and have it at your house in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Remember, Amazon has been experimenting with same-day delivery in some markets with some items. And no inventory might solve its sales-tax problems. I mean, do you have to pay sales tax if you’re selecting the product in the store but technically buying it on your tablet?
. . . .
Amazon could entice you into the space with a physical library.
Yes, Amazon could buy up used DVDs and books and just have them there for unlimited use by Prime subscribers. Ever go to the local library and try to borrow a popular movie or CD? Exactly, the selection is pure garbage.
Unlike digital assets, which require consent of publishers to loan out (thus the small number of books in Amazon’s Lending Library), you can rent out used DVDs and books all you want as long as you bought them.
Link to the rest at Launch
Passive Guy is skeptical about the rumor because of the massive capital and fixed costs a retail network would entail, but Amazon Retail is an interesting thought experiment.