NEW YORK – Amazon says it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall this year, a first for the online behemoth and a fresh challenge for already struggling traditional retailers.
Amazon said Thursday that the store, which will sell women's and men's clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open in Glendale, California.
Shoppers will get personalized recommendations pushed to their phones as they browse the new Amazon Style store, stocked mostly with non-Amazon fashion labels, the Seattle-based company said. Amazon declined to offer details on the labels.
The store will be about 30,000 square feet, similar in size to a Kohl's but about one-third the size of other department stores, such as Macy's.
But it will offer more than double the number of styles as traditional stores do because it will show one of each style on display while keeping the rest in the back room. The selection is chosen by Amazon curators who also use feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com.
The store concept is likely to add more strain on the already challenged traditional clothing sellers, particularly department stores that have been scrambling to adapt to shoppers' shift to online shopping that has been accelerated during the pandemic.
Upon entering the Amazon Style store, shoppers will see a curated set of items on display. By using the Amazon Shopping app, shoppers can scan an item's QR code to see sizes, colors and overall customer ratings. Shoppers can add these items to fitting rooms or, if they don't need to try something on, they can send it directly to the pickup counter. Prices will range from $10 to $400.
Amazon says its algorithms will spit out real-time recommendations as shoppers keep scanning items that they see. Shoppers can also fill out an online survey of their preferences for style and fit.
When shoppers enter the fitting room, they will find the items they requested. Using a touchscreen in their fitting rooms, they can also request other items.