Amazon Unboxed: Gotta Move Those Refrigerators

The New York Times: Amazon “is exploring the idea of creating stores to sell furniture and home appliances, like refrigerators — the kinds of products that shoppers are reluctant to buy over the internet sight unseen … The stores would serve as showcases where people could view the items in person, with orders being delivered to their homes. These would not be your average Home Depots: Amazon has considered using forms of augmented or virtual reality to allow people to see how couches, stoves and credenzas will look in their homes.”

“Amazon is also kicking around an electronics-store concept similar to Apple’s retail emporiums … These shops would have a heavy emphasis on Amazon devices and services such as the company’s Echo smart home speaker and Prime Video streaming service. And in groceries … the company has opened a convenience store that does not need cashiers, and it is close to opening two stores where drivers can quickly pick up groceries without leaving their cars, all in Seattle. It has explored another grocery store concept that could serve walk-in customers and act as a hub for home deliveries.”

“But a group within Amazon has explored another larger grocery store format … The store could stock fresh produce, meats and other items in a public area of the store, while keeping frozen foods, cereals and other items traditionally found in the center of a grocery store behind a wall, in what would be a kind of small Amazon warehouse. Workers behind the wall, not robots, could quickly package orders for customers.”

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