Few people are willing to buy a refrigerator over the internet. And Amazon wants to fix that. Sensing prime opportunity to disrupt more retail models, the internet giant is considering a chain of brick and mortar stores selling furniture, appliances, and other items that prospective buyers would want to see in real life before popping them in their shopping carts, according to a The New York Times report.
The proposed stores would serve as showrooms, possibly enhanced with artificial reality capabilities to let visitors “see” a new sofa or sectional in their home. The items would then be purchased online and delivered.
While all of that seems fine and dandy, another of Amazon’s tech-infused brick-and-mortar experiments is already off to a rocky start. The rollout of the highly anticipated Amazon Go grocery stores—which are supposed to use automated cameras and sensors to operate without any human staff—has been delayed, with the Seattle prototype store limited for use only by Amazon employees. Apparently, the store can’t handle watching more than 20 people at once, and has a tough time tracking items that have been moved.
The company’s handful of physical bookstores, however, are thriving. The company is planning to double the number of bookstores from five locations to 10.