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Amazon this week plans to open a new bricks-and-mortar store format in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, a store that CNBC writes is “unlike any shop the e-commerce giant has rolled out before” - it will only sell items that have gotten four stars or better on its website. It will be called Amazon 4 Star.

Amazon Prime members will pay the same prices that they would pay online, the story says.

According to the story, “customers will find items like a mini skillet, card games and many of the company's own electronic devices including the Echo Spot and Fire TV Stick, in the new store … it will also include some ‘Trending Around NYC’ items there, which Amazon is able to track on its website.”
KC's View:
Unexpected as this is, it reflects something I’ve been trying to say to people who keep portraying Amazon’s likely path in linear terms. As in, “they’ve opened four Amazon Go stores, so if they open 3,000 they all have to be similar.” I don’t think this is true … I think that Amazon is going to try a lot of different things to see what works. It isn’t exactly a random approach, because they almost certainly have a sense that something like Amazon 4 Star has a shot at being successful and providing some critical learnings.

The Wall Street Journal points out that moves such as this one need to be seen within a broader context, that “Amazon’s stores also allows it to learn about how consumers browse in person, a valuable category of data not available online."

One thing that the store does not seem to offer, from everything I’ve read, is delivery … but I’ll bet that this could be in the store’s future.