Amazon is reportedly considering making further expansions into the retail space by opening several large physical retail locations similar to department stores to offer items from top consumer brands.
The Wall Street Journal reported the plans Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, who said some of the first Amazon department stores would likely be located in Ohio and California.
The people said that potential Amazon stores would each be about 10,000 square feet, smaller than the roughly 30,000 square feet that are typical for most department stores, like Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom and Macy’s.
The sources who spoke to the Journal did not specify what brands would be sold at the stores, though they noted that Amazon’s own products would likely be included, including clothes, furniture and other items the multinational tech giant currently sells through many of its own labels.
One person familiar with the matter said that Amazon had approached some U.S. apparel companies two years ago for early discussions on potentially opening large, in-person stores.
Department stores for years have experienced a drop in sales as more consumers have turned to online shopping, a trend that only picked up amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, analysts and industry executives are now predicting that the companies could be reporting strong sales as consumers are eagerly returning to in-person shopping amid loosened COVID-19 restrictions.
When contacted by The Hill, an Amazon spokesperson said, “we do not comment on rumours and speculation.”
The Jeff Bezos-founded company currently runs more than 20 bookstores and more than two-dozen of its 4-star stores across the country, where shoppers can purchase several top-rated products like electronics, toys, games and kitchen items.
After purchasing Whole Foods in 2017, Amazon has since launched a chain of its own cashier-less convenience store locations through Amazon Go and also operates Amazon Fresh grocery stores in multiple states.