Amazon plans clothing store for Americana mall in Glendale
First, Amazon competed with malls. Now, it’s moving inside one.
The online retailing giant said Thursday that it plans to open a clothing store in a Southern California mall this year. It’s the latest brick-and-mortar entry for Amazon, which already sells more than 10% of all clothes in the U.S.
The store, which will sell women’s and men’s clothing as well as shoes and other accessories, will open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale. The entry into malls could become another threat to traditional clothing sellers because of the data and shopper insights Amazon may gain, experts say.
Amazon says its algorithms will spit out real-time recommendations as shoppers keep scanning items that they see. Shoppers can also fill out an online survey of their preferences for style and fit.
The store will be about 30,000 square feet, similar in size to a Kohl’s but about one-third the size of other department stores, such as Macy’s. But it will offer more than double the number of styles compared with traditional stores because it will show one of each style on display while keeping the rest in the back room.
The selection is chosen by Amazon curators, who also use feedback provided by millions of customers shopping on Amazon.com.
Simoina Vasen, managing director of Amazon Style, declined to comment on rollout plans of the new store concept or sales projections. Amazon didn’t give a precise date for the opening of the Glendale store.
Amazon unseated Walmart as the largest clothing seller last year during the pandemic as more people began shopping online.
Wells Fargo estimated in March that Amazon’s clothing and footwear sales in the U.S. increased by about 15% in 2020 to more than $41 billion. That’s about 20% to 25% above Walmart and 11% to 12% of all clothing sold in the U.S.
Amazon has been making a big push into fashion in recent years, including selling its own labels, and in September 2020, it launched an online shop called Luxury Stores.
Shoppers at the Amazon Style store will be able to browse items on display and scan a QR code to see sizes, colors and customer ratings. They also can send items to fitting rooms or directly to the store’s counter. Once in a fitting room, customers can request other items using a touch screen.
“Amazon Style completely reimagines what’s possible in the fitting room, turning it into a personalized space where customers can continue to shop a seemingly endless closet of great styles,” Vasen wrote in an Amazon blog.
Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said the prototype store could deepen Amazon’s influence in the sector, especially among clothing shoppers who love the experience of exploring and browsing physical stores. And it could empower Amazon with more shopping data.
But he also cautioned that Amazon’s success depends on execution.
“Traditionally, it is not all that good at creating a great in-store experience,” Saunders said. “It tends to be very solid at technology and operations but can fall short on spirit and soul — both of which are particularly important in fashion where consumers love inspiration, curation, and personal services.”