Move Over Apple, Amazon Plans To Open Offline Store In New York City

Mega online retailer Amazon is reportedly prepping its first brick-and-mortar shop, which will be located in the middle of New York City and open for business in time for the busy holiday shopping season. Having toyed with same-day shipping and free two-day shipping for Amazon Prime members, operating a physical store that consumers can walk into is really the only way for Amazon to compete with the instant gratification that comes from traditional shopping.

According to The Wall Street Journal and the "people familiar with the plans" that it spoke with, the store will reside at 7 West 34th St., across from the Empire State Building in Midtown and on the same street as Macy's flagship shop. It will serve as a mini warehouse and offer same-day delivery within New York, as well as accept and process product returns and exchanges, and pickups of online orders.

Amazon Fresh
Image Source: Flickr (Atomic Taco)

This is new territory for Amazon, and with it will come new costs that it didn't have to contend with before. Running a physical location isn't cheap, especially in New York City, and Amazon is already operating at a thin profit margin. However, the upside is the promotion of the Amazon brand at a location that sees a high level of foot traffic -- the Empire State Building attracted more than 4.3 million visitors last year, and Macy's sees more than 20 million visitors each year.

New York City is a red hot location and home to Apple's flagship store. In addition, Microsoft recently announced that it too will be opening up a flagship shop in the general vicinity -- 677 Fifth Avenue, which is about five blocks from Apple's store at 767 Fifth Avenue.