Amazon wants to open large stores for data collection?

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Amazon.com Inc. plans to launch physical department stores in the United States that will function as department stores, selling everything from clothing to electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported. The first of these will open in California and Ohio.

The new spaces will measure approximately 30,000 square feet (2,800 m²). It’s much smaller than most department stores which typically occupy around 100,000 square feet (9,300 m²), but that doesn’t mean they won’t be disruptive.

According to Gizmodo, the new openings are about data collection, of course, there is also the obvious motive to offer a physical service. Amazon lags far behind Facebook and Google when it comes to collecting user data and that’s something the tech giant aims to change.

A physical store will allow Amazon to see exactly which products you prefer: which ones you buy and which ones you leave behind. An anonymous source told The Wall Street Journal that the new stores are aimed at better engagement with customers, but it seems hard to believe.

If we take a look at how Amazon shows up in the news about how it treats its employees, it seems plausible that data collection is the reason behind physical stores. The question now becomes, will the stores prove to be successful?

Since they will be smaller than your typical Macy’s or Target, they might not be able to compete with the big guys. However, they are roughly in line with Nordstrom’s recently opened department stores, making them viable sources of retail.

And that’s not all. In June, reports started to appear that the tech giant was going to open its own physical Amazon-branded pharmacies.

In 2018, she bought PillPack, a company that helps customers track their prescriptions, and in late 2020, she officially launched her Amazon Pharmacy business, which saves Prime members up to 80% on generic drugs.

It looks like the tech giant won’t be happy until it dominates all areas of retail.


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