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Amazon wants to open department stores (like the ones it helped put out of business)

Amazon plans to open large retail stores despite being an online retailer

At an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama.
A banner encouraging workers to vote in labor balloting is shown at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Ala.
Jay Reeves, Associated Press

Amazon — the massive online retailer that made a name for itself by giving people an alternative to shopping at massive stores by buying online with delivery to their front door — is planning to open department stores, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Is Amazon opening retail stores?

Amazon is planning to open several large retail locations in the U.S. These locations are expected to be similar to department stores, per WSJ.

  • The stores will reportedly have clothing items, household products, some electronics and more.
  • Amazon plans to open some of these locations in Ohio and California.

The buildings will be about 30,000 square feet. Per WSJ, this is slightly smaller than normal department stores, which stretch out to be 100,000 square feet. That’s about the size of Kohl’s or TJ Maxx, per CNBC.

  • “It is unclear what brands Amazon will offer in the stores, although the company’s private-label goods are expected to feature prominently,” according to WSJ.

Amazon and the decline of department stores

The rise of Amazon has come at the same time that department stores have struggled. For example, major stores like JC Penney, Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus have filed for bankruptcy, according to CNBC. Malls have struggled, too, to contend with online retailers because the department stores within the mall have struggled to bring in customers.

  • That said, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales have been planning to open stores similar to the proposed Amazon store size to help bring in customers without having such big locations, according to Forbes.