Amazon has been drumming up plans to open discount stores to shift some of its unsold electronics and household items at steep discounts, a new report from Bloomberg has claimed. The products filling the shelves would be taken from Amazon’s massive network of warehouses. According to Bloomberg, Amazon is toying with their pop-up shops or permanent high street stores to shift the cut-price stock.
Amazon will prioritise smaller items that don’t take up a lot of space, from home goods, toys, kitchen gadgets, and consumer electronics. That decision has seemingly been made so that Amazon won’t need a huge amount of retail space (a pop-up shop wouldn’t be feasible if Amazon was planning to shift its unsold flatscreen TVs, garden furniture and car batteries …it would basically need to open a warehouse-sized shop and avoiding the need for warehouses packed with kit is the reason behind this entire endeavour).
Clothing would not be included in these super-sized discounts, Bloomberg claims.
“It’s a way to be able to clean out warehouses and get through inventory without having to destroy it,” a source inside the Seattle-based retail company that shaped Bloomberg’s coverage is quoted as saying. The plan was seemingly devised following a report published in 2019 that claimed Amazon destroyed millions of the items it couldn’t sell.
Stock that wasn’t shifted on its store, including in sales, was destroyed. Items like Smart TVs and nappies were disposed of by Amazon.
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Following the report, Amazon has pledged to donate its unsold goods. The introduction of these discount stores would seemingly be a way for Amazon to make a little extra revenue before arranging for these items to be donated to charitable causes. By selling the unsold goods in pop-up shops or an outlet store, Amazon wouldn’t need to worry about delivery costs, returns, or other admin associated with shipping direct to customers.
Amazon is steadily growing its retail presence. In the United States, it has 500 Whole Foods locations, checkout-free Amazon Go stores and seven pop-ups in malls. As well as Whole Foods, its also steadily opening Amazon Fresh shops, with two locations in London for the walk-in and walk-out shops.
Discount electronic and household good stores on-top of these existing locations would make a dramatic expansion. However, given the popularity of its annual Prime Day and Black Friday sales, these could be a huge success for the online retail giant.
Unfortunately, plans have been put on ice for the time being due to the ongoing public health crisis. With social distancing and other restrictions in place, it’s difficult to see Amazon encouraging customers to flock to a pop-up store to buy unsold goods at heavily discounted prices anytime soon.
Bargain-hunters will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on a bargain telly.