Amazon to open US department stores, WSJ reports

Amazon to open US department stores, WSJ reports

Amazon plans to open several large physical retail locations in the US that will operate like department stores, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The move would mark a fresh expansion for the online giant into books and mortar retail. Amazon opened its first physical bookshops in Seattle in 2015, before branching out into grocery and gadget shops. Earlier this year, data from Wells Fargo showed that the online retailer had overtaken Walmart as the biggest seller of clothes and footwear in the US, partly due to a coronavirus-linked boom in online ordering. 

Amazon declined to comment on the claims, calling them "rumours and speculation".

However the WSJ reported that some of the first Amazon department stores are expected to be located in Ohio and California, with retail spaces expected to be around 30,000 square feet. Although this is much smaller than most department stores, which typically occupy around 100,000 square feet, the new stores would still be larger than the company's current retail spaces. 

Quoting people familiar with the plans, the stores are expected to offer items from top consumer brands, however, it is unclear which brands these are. The sources said the company's private-label goods are expected to feature prominently.