Amazon Style is experimenting with various tech services to enhance the shopping experience.
Amazon is opening a new technology-based clothing store in California. Nearly 2,800 square feet of retail space will feature palm scanning, QR codes, and real-time recommendations for a seamless shopping experience. It is located in a premium mall in a suburb of Los Angeles.
With Amazon Style, shoppers will benefit from a host of technological advances, including QR codes that can be used to view different sizes, colors, and product ratings, as well as the ability to order clothes online and have them delivered to their homes. Customers will access the store by scanning their palms.
Analysts report that Amazon and other major brands are reevaluating the value of traditional physical stores after a wave of retail closures in recent years. Coresight Research estimates that 5,000 new retail stores opened in the U.S. last year, slightly more than the number of stores that closed. PwC estimates that customer traffic in U.S. stores has recovered to pre-crisis levels.
Amazon's launch of a full-size clothing store is another attempt to venture into physical retail after trying bookstores and grocery stores. It is expected that Amazon will be the largest retailer of apparel and footwear in the United States by the end of this year, with sales of more than $45 billion.
Despite its growing financial performance in the fashion category, Amazon still looks to traditional retail, dominating the market. Even with the rapid development of online channels, consumers still prefer to buy clothes and shoes "in-person" - physical stores account for more than 85% of the market.
The launch of Amazon Style is an experiment to determine whether the Internet giant can expand its customer base. As of today, the company operates over 500 Whole Foods stores and invests in about 90 retail stores under the Amazon Books and Amazon Fresh brands. What are the chances that Amazon will be able to wrest customers away from other fashion retailers?