After seeing a spike in fashion sales during the pandemic, Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar clothing store in Glendale, California later this year. The shop, called Amazon Style, will be located in the Americana at Brand mall. Amazon Style will offer a mix of apparel, accessories, and shoes at various price points—plus, the company is applying plenty of tech to enhance the in-person shopping experience.
Amazon laid out its plan for mixing real-world browsing with virtual assistance in an announcement Thursday. Their aim is to offer a tailored experience in-store using technology tools like artificial intelligence. Using the Amazon Shopping app, customers will be able to scan QR codes on the physical items they’re interested in for more details about sizes or other available colors. If they like what they see, they can “send” the item to a touchscreen-enabled dressing room, where they can scroll through the online catalogue and request for articles to be delivered to the room.
The bulk of the available products will be housed in the back, then distributed to fitting rooms and checkout counters through “advanced technologies and processes” developed in Amazon fulfillment centers. Amazon claims this setup will allow it to stock significantly more styles than other stores of its size (at about 30,000 square feet, the Associated Press compared it to a Kohl’s department store).
As shoppers engage with items on the app, Amazon’s machine learning algorithms use that data to approximate style preferences and generate personalized recommendations.
One of Amazon Style’s main goals appears to be bridging how users shop online and in-person. The retailer said that it intends to analyze its vast trove of online shopping feedback to select what gets displayed in the store based on popularity and trends. Customers that start their shopping journeys online will also have the option to send items they find virtually to the Amazon Style store, where they can then go to try the looks on and return them on the spot if necessary. At check out, items can be purchased using Amazon One, the company’s palm print-reading payment service.
According to the Associated Press, Amazon’s clothing and retail sales surpassed $41 billion in 2020, representing more than 10 percent of all clothing sold in the US that year. In recent years, Amazon has launched its own dedicated clothing line, as well as higher-end offerings through Luxury Stores.
This foray to increase their presence into fashion malls follows an ongoing trend of the company reimagining the sort of retail stores its online business model previously upended. So far, Amazon has opened book stores and convenience stores, among other in-person options, with more expected on the horizon.