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The ins and outs of Amazon’s department store
The Future. Amazon plans on getting techy inside its department stores, which are set to open next year. On the menu: everything from QR codes to touch screens to cashierless tech. If implemented, Amazon has the chance to beta test how Prime subscriptions can augment physical shopping experiences beyond just discounts at the register.
Amazon is planning to make its upcoming department stores a prime experience for customers (sorry, we had to).
Some ideas include:
- Allowing customers to scan items that they want to try on using QR codes, which will then be gathered by employees and dropped off at a fitting room.
- Touch screens that help customers mix and match items throughout the store.
- Specialized sliding doors that allow employees to deliver customers more clothes while they’re still in there.
- Amazon Go tech that would make stores cashierless.
- The eventual use of robots and “other forms of automation.”
The stores, which are set to first open near San Francisco, CA and Columbus, OH next year, will include items from Amazon’s over 100 clothing brands, including Goodthreads and Lark & Ro. They will also carry a handful of outside brands that sell their products on Amazon’s digital marketplace.
Apparel is big business for Amazon, which it has been manufacturing for years. According to Wells Fargo, Amazon just overtook Walmart as the largest seller of clothing in the U.S., with total sales expected to pass $45 billion this year alone.
By moving into the brick-and-mortar space, Amazon has the chance to lower returns and create a more casual buying experience… similar to its efforts to transform the grocery shopping experience with innovations at Whole Foods.