Internet superstore Amazon looks set to open an actual, physical store in New York City, directly opposite the Empire State Building, according to WSJ.
The 34th street store, though it will primarily act as a miniature warehouse for same-day deliveries, will allow customers to pick up online orders and make returns.
It may also showcase Amazon Kindle and Fire products.
Amazon taking up residence on the high street, where it has already outcompeted countless shops into oblivion, has raised eyebrows.
Some have dubbed the move a ‘reverse disruption’ – a virtual company establishing a physical location – not unlike the lower-profile moves of web shops Birchbox, Bonobos, and Bauble Bar.
Although initial reports indicate that Amazon will not treat the space as a traditional retailer, the potential for the location is far greater than the proposed pick-up/drop-off mini-warehouse.
It’s no coincidence that the Amazon store will open its doors just in time for Christmas in the hopes that New Yorkers will use both the site itself and the super-fast deliveries it supports.
Amazon told WSJ this store is just an experiment, but having launched a tool for identifying products, a card reader for buying them, and many more gadgets of that sort, Amazon could well be using this piece of prime New York City real-estate to determine whether it could dominate physical shopping as it has done digital.