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Amazon opens new clothing store, Amazon Style, with rehearsal room

The stores will offer women's and men's clothing, shoes and accessories from a mix of well-known and new brands at affordable prices.

Amazon

After a boom in 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, California, will open its doors later this year, the company announced Thursday.

The store will offer women's and men's clothing, shoes and accessories from a mix of well-known and new brands, with prices aimed at a wide range of shoppers.

"You can find anything from $ 10 basic to designer jeans to $ 400 timeless piece," Simoina Vasen, CEO of Amazon Style, told CNBC. "We want to meet every budget and every price point."

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

Customers will greatly rely on their smartphone while shopping in the store, by using it to see additional colors and sizes, as well as notifying store employees to put an item in their fitting room.

Amazon

The new store concept marks Amazon's latest experiment in physical retail. The company started on its toes in the physical retail business when it opened a bookstore in 2015, then vaulted into space by acquiring the exclusive grocery store Whole Foods for $ 13.7 billion in 2017. Since then, it has launched a number of other formats, including grab-and-go grocery stores, stores that have best-selling items online, and even its own supermarket chain.

Amazon has spent years increasing its share of clothing sales. In March last year, Wells Fargo said Amazon surpassed Walmart as the No. 1 clothing retailer in the U.S., estimating that Amazon's sales of clothing and footwear in the U.S. grew by about 15% in 2020 to more than $ 41 billion. (Amazon does not erupt clothing sales in its financial results.)

Amazon gained early success with online apparel by selling a wide range of basics from popular brands and its own private labels. In recent years, it has moved exclusively by opening luxury online luxury fashion stores.

By launching its first Style store, Amazon was able to capture customers who otherwise would not have considered it a clothing destination.

A high-tech shopping experience

Amazon says they hope to address some of the pain points found in traditional retail stores, such as fitting rooms, while cutting some of the clutter that can make sales floors look scary and disorganized.

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

When shoppers walk into the store, they will see "exhibits" that have only one size and color of a particular product; the remaining inventory for each product is stored at the back of the store. After logging in to the Amazon app on a smartphone, they scan a QR code on the item to see additional sizes, colors, product reviews and other information, such as personal recommendations for similar items.

"This allows us to offer more selection without requiring customers to see through racks to find the right color, size and fit," Vasen said.

After scanning the QR code of 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 the fitting rooms, Amazon has added touchscreen displays that shoppers can use to rate items or request that different styles or sizes be delivered to their fitting room.

Amazon

In the fitting rooms, Amazon has added touchscreen displays that shoppers can use to rate items or request that different styles or sizes be delivered to their fitting room.

Each item is then delivered in a "safe closet" in the fitting room, which is unlocked after a store employee has delivered the clothes. This allows customers to continue shopping without having to leave the fitting room and find an employee, Amazon said.

Like Amazon's other physical retail concepts, Amazon Style stores try to blend the company's online and offline shopping experience.

Amazon

Shoppers will be able to use Amazon's palm scanning system, Amazon One, to pay under the checkout.

Like Amazon's other physical retail concepts, Amazon Style stores try to blend the company's online and offline shopping experience. The vase said shoppers will be able to access their in-store purchase history in the Amazon app.

But unlike Whole Foods stores, Vasen said the Style stores will not offer any special discounts to Prime subscribers.

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