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Amazon Tests Yet Another Brick-and-Mortar Format

By Daniel B. Kline - Mar 5, 2020 at 4:29PM

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The retailer is trying a low-tech idea.

For a digital retailer, Amazon.com (AMZN 0.25%) has a lot of different brick-and-mortar formats in some stage of development. The company is adding Amazon Pop Up to a lineup that includes bookstores, the Go convenience and grocery stores, Amazon 4-star, and, of course, the established Whole Foods chain.

The Pop Up model is low-tech compared to Go, which lets customers check out without visiting a cashier. These new stores are fairly basic and have cashiers because, in this case, it's all about the merchandise.

A bed is made using Amazon's bedding.

Amazon is using its Pop Up locations to show off its bedding line. Image source: Amazon.

What is Amazon trying to do?

Amazon wants to use the Pop Up locations to display merchandise that it believes customers want to see and feel before buying. In this case, the test stores are devoted to the AmazonBasics line of bedding. The company is even using the tag line, "Feel, touch, and see AmazonBasics bedding in person before buying online!"

The merchandise in these locations will change regularly, though Amazon's statement on when and how often is somewhat vague:

"Customers can come delight in our rotating pop-up shopping experience -- featuring new themes and brands updating regularly -- where they can see new and trending merchandise, and interactive displays, not readily available in stores," the company said on its website.

This solves a problem

Target has been able to launch numerous company-owned private-label brands while Amazon has struggled to do the same thing. That may be because the brick-and-mortar chain has the ability to show off its private-label brands in its stores.

Pop Up lets Amazon do the same thing. That could help it build consumer trust in those brands and lead to them gaining some sales traction.

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