Amazon Expands US Pop-Up Stores To Highlight Red Hot Echo, Alexa

Amazon is tired of being merely an online retailer and is aggressively expanding into brick-and-mortar store locations. The company plans on opening over a dozen pop-up stores in American malls over the next year. The stores will particularly focus on Echo home speakers and Alexa.

While the Amazon bookstore that opened in Seattle last year is run by Amazon’s retail team, its pop-up stores will instead be organized by the devices team. The initiative is led by Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Dave Lim. The pop-up stores will therefore focus on Amazon devices such as the Echo and Kindle. These stores will provide Amazon with an opportunity for physical sales, since big-box retailers such as Target and Walmart stopped selling Amazon products in 2012.
amazon store

The advent of the pop-up stores and their leadership under the devices team coincides with the success of Amazon Echo and Alexa. The Echo speaker family is widely regarded as the next big hit product for Amazon. The stores not only raise awareness of the products and brand, but allow potential customers to play around in person with the products (something they can't do when hitting the "order" button at Amazon.com). 

The stores will be roughly three hundred to five hundred square feet in size. Amazon had sixteen stores as of August in twelve states, including California, New York, and Texas. It plans to open at least thirty additional stores by the end of 2016 and will have as many as one hundred in 2017. Amazon is currently hiring for locations which have not opened yet such as Miami, Florida and West Hartford, Connecticut.

echo on media

The Echo can now enable any of the 1,400 skills that “Alexa” has learned since the 2015 launch. Some of her most recent acquired skills include being able to lock a user’s house doors with voice command and having remote access to Hyundai’s luxury vehicles. Alexa is also now capable of updating users without being prompted with her “push notifications”. 

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