Important Update at Foot of Post.
Amazon is reportedly about to announce the launch of high street stores in the UK.
The Times are reporting the online e-commerce giant are on the prowl for prime UK locations to open up Amazon shops for customers who prefer to collect rather than receive.
The move would be an incredible reversal of fortune for web services and Amazon’s online-only sales model. It also raises the thought as to whether the UK is a trial for a potential global launch.
The stores will use “click and collect,” offer, where shoppers order online and pick up at a physical store, similar to the likes of Argos and Tesco.
Interestingly Amazon did agree to to sell books and videos via high-street store Borders in 2002. Similarly the deal meant Amazon customers would be able to pick up and return items. Of course that was long before Amazon ventured into an “everything” store rather than just books..
Lastminute.com has also opened offline stores, with some success. The site has kiosks in various UK train stations.
One source familiar with Amazon’s proposals told The Times: “When Amazon was just selling books and CDs that fitted easily through the letterbox it was fine to be a web-only business, but now it has branched out into everything from children’s bikes to electricals it believes it could boost sales by having stores that offer a collection point for shoppers. It will probably be an Argos-style operation.”
It is understood that some of the sites will be out of town because of worries over parking.
An Amazon spokesman has refuted the story, saying it has no plans to open stores anywhere in the world.
The Amazon spokesman declined to comment any further on the report, including whether it could partner with retailers, or its future plans.