From The Editor | February 11, 2016

Role Reversal: Amazon Opens Stores, Merchants Open Marketplaces

Matt Pillar

By Matt Pillar, senior executive editor, Innovative Retail Technologies

Amazon Store Openings

Amazon is neither confirming nor denying the swirl of rumors about its plans to add more physical stores on the heels of the Seattle brick-and-mortar location it opened in 2015. In early February, some insiders were throwing numbers like 400 around, while others have since shared more conservative estimates. If one thing is certain, it’s that the well-heeled company could grow its physical presence if it chose to. Physical stores could go a long way toward building the brand. Amazon has already mastered the science of digital personalization, and with the right people in its stores, the human experience could strengthen its customer-centric prowess.

The catch-22 Amazon faces is whether to focus on growth channels or to try to get a piece of the legacy retail pie; while e-commerce sales are projected to hit $2.5 trillion by 2018, stores still account for more than 90 percent of the global retail market.  

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