Amazon turns to toys, home goods in latest brick-and-mortar trial

JEFFREY DASTIN | September 27, 2018

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Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) on Wednesday said it is opening a general store in New York City that will sell toys, household goods and a range of other products highly rated on its website, marking its latest push into brick-and-mortar retail. Drawing on its wealth of customer data, Amazon has stocked the store with its best sellers as well as products popular with New Yorkers. The shop, known as Amazon 4-star, will let customers play with Echo speakers, Kindle e-readers and other devices made by the company. It will also sell books, games and kitchenware. The news marks Amazon’s latest incursion into the turf of rivals such as Target Corp (TGT.N), which has courted urban shoppers with new small-format stores. It also highlights how the world’s largest online retailer, famous for upending retail chains’ business, is increasingly turning to physical stores to please customers. Digital price tags will line the shelves of Amazon 4-star. That will allow items’ prices to fluctuate, so members of Amazon’s loyalty club Prime will always pay the online price in the store. Those without membership in the fast-shipping club will be charged the typically higher list price, unless they sign up for Prime on the spot. Amazon’s chain of more than a dozen book stores operates in the same way.

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