Amazon was looking into the idea of launching a chain of brick-and-mortar discount stores, a report claimed this week. But the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prompted it to concentrate for now on the day-to-day operations of its broader business.
Plans for the discount stores, which would have been used to offload unsold inventory gathering dust in Amazon warehouses, were discussed by the company in 2020, according to a Bloomberg report published on Thursday, April 1.
An unnamed source claiming to have knowledge of the matter told the news outlet that a chain of Amazon discount stores would offer “a way to be able to clean out warehouses, and get through inventory without having to destroy it,” adding, “It is keeping with the value proposition of Amazon, keeping price at the forefront and allowing customers to get access to products at low cost.”
It’s certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that the Seattle-based giant would launch another brick-and-mortar-based endeavor.
Since opening the first of a growing chain of physical bookstores in 2015, the company has also invested heavily in its high-tech Go stores that let you shop without having to waste any time at a checkout (if you’ve not been to one, read all about the experience here). It also has around 30 Amazon 4-Star stores that stock poplar items from its online site.
More recently it launched its Amazon Fresh grocery store, and in 2017 acquired Whole Foods, of which there are more than 500 stores.
According to Bloomberg’s report, a potential Amazon discount store would be similar in some ways to Amazon 4-Star, offering smaller items that would include things like home goods, electronics, toys, baby products, and kitchen products.
It’s not clear if Amazon will resurrect the plan once the pandemic eases. It could be that the company makes a decision once it gauges to what extent people’s shopping habits have been impacted by the ongoing global health crisis. Either way, Amazon, with its gargantuan e-commerce presence, looks all set for the foreseeable future.
Digital Trends has reached out to Amazon for comment on its reported interest in discount stores and we will update this article if we hear back.