Amazon’s retail plans are growing from a single brick-and-mortar bookstore to a large network of pop-up shops in US malls, according to a report from Business Insider. These retail locations are said to be distinct from Amazon’s existing Seattle storefront, focusing not on books but on its growing number of consumer electronic devices. Those gadgets include the Kindle and Amazon Fire product lines, the Fire TV set-top box, the Dash button, and the Echo and Amazon Tap speakers.
The company has already begun the rollout, with 21 stores located in 12 states across the country. A new Amazon website details each of these locations, describing the pop-up shops as a way to ask experts about products, demo those products, and shop for accessories. The stores also serve another purpose: for every Amazon hardware product sold, the company gains one more way to sell Amazon products and services like Prime. (On the book side, the company is said to be expanding its book store operation from Seattle to New York City, Chicago, and Portland.)
A series of job listings, unearthed by Business Insider, describe these established pop-up shops as part of test phase that is now over. The listings say Amazon is ready to grow and expand the operation, and the report states the number of pop-up shops could exceed 30 by year’s end and grow to as many as 100 locations by next year. “We offer pop-up kiosks so that customers can try out all our new devices and learn about our services like Prime and unique content like Amazon Originals,” Amazon said in a statement.
During a shareholder meeting in May, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the company would be more aggressive in its retail expansion, partly as a way to educate itself on which sales tactics work best in offline environments. “We’re definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don’t know yet,” he said. “In these early days it’s all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue.”