Amazon opens new clothing store, Amazon Style, with fitting rooms

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The stores will offer women’s and men’s clothing, footwear and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands at affordable prices.

Amazon

After shaking up physical retail, Amazon is opening a clothing store in the physical world.

The first Amazon Style store, located in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale, Calif., will open later this year, the company announced Thursday.

The store will offer women’s and men’s clothing, footwear and accessories from a mix of well-known and emerging brands, with prices to suit a wide range of shoppers.

“You’ll find everything from the $10 basic to designer jeans to the timeless $400 piece,” Simoina Vasen, managing director of Amazon Style, told CNBC. “We want to meet all budgets and all prices.”

At approximately 30,000 square feet, the retail space is the size of a typical TJ Maxx location, but smaller than the average department store.

Customers will rely heavily on their smartphones when shopping in the store, using it to view additional colors and sizes, as well as asking store employees to put an item in their dressing room.

Amazon

The new store concept marks Amazon’s latest experiment in physical retail. The company started tiptoeing into brick-and-mortar retail when it opened a bookstore in 2015, then launched into the space by acquiring high-end grocer Whole Foods for 13, $7 billion in 2017. Since then, it has launched a number of other formats, including takeout. convenience stores, stores that carry the best-selling items online, and even his own chain of supermarkets.

Amazon has spent years growing its share of apparel sales. Last March, Wells Fargo said Amazon had overtaken Walmart as the top US apparel retailer and estimated that Amazon US apparel and footwear sales increased about 15% in 2020 to reach over $41 billion. (Amazon does not detail apparel sales in its financial results.)

Amazon had early success with online clothing, selling a wide range of staples from popular brands and its own private labels. In recent years, she has been moving upmarket by opening luxury fashion boutiques online.

By launching its first Style store, Amazon could attract shoppers who might not otherwise consider it a clothing destination.

A high-tech shopping experience

Amazon says it hopes to fix some of the problems found in traditional retail stores, such as the dressing room, while reducing some of the clutter that can make retail floors feel intimidating and disorganized.

Shoppers will rely heavily on their smartphone to browse the store.

When shoppers enter the store, they see “display items”, showing only one size and color of a particular product; the remaining inventory for each product will be kept at the back of the store. After logging into the Amazon app on a smartphone, they scan a QR code on the item to view additional sizes, colors, product ratings and other information, such as personalized recommendations for items similar.

“It allows us to offer more choices without forcing customers to sift through shelves to find the right color, size and fit,” Vasen said.

After scanning the QR code on an item, shoppers can click a button in the Amazon app to add the item to a fitting room or send it to a pickup counter.

In fitting rooms, Amazon has added touchscreens, which shoppers can use to rate items or request different styles or sizes to be delivered to their fitting room.

Amazon

In fitting rooms, Amazon has added touchscreens, which shoppers can use to rate items or request different styles or sizes to be delivered to their fitting room.

Each item is then deposited in a “secure closet” in the fitting room, which unlocks after a store associate delivers the clothes. This allows customers to continue shopping without having to leave the fitting room and find an employee, the company said.

Like Amazon’s other brick-and-mortar retail concepts, Amazon Style stores attempt to combine the company’s online and offline shopping experience.

Amazon

Shoppers will be able to use Amazon’s palm scanning system, Amazon One, to pay at checkout.

Like Amazon’s other brick-and-mortar retail concepts, Amazon Style stores attempt to combine the company’s online and offline shopping experience. Vasen said shoppers will be able to access their in-store purchase history in the Amazon app.

But unlike Whole Foods stores, Vasen said Style stores won’t offer any special discounts to Prime subscribers.

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