Amazon opened a new store in New York on Thursday morning that’s unlike anything the company has ever done before.
Located in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, the shop, known as Amazon-4 star, sells what the e-commerce giant considers to be some of its most popular or best rated merchandise on its website. The store is a longer-term real estate deal, compared with the pop-up shops and mall kiosks that Amazon has tested in the past. It shows the company is serious about investing in bricks-and-mortar retail, following its acquisition of Whole Foods and the gradual rollout of its cashier-less convenience stores across the U.S.
Inside the new shop in SoHo, one will find everything from quirky kitchen gifts like a triceratops taco holder to popular books, board games, laptops, Alexa-enabled devices and even items from Amazon’s in-house brands, like Amazon Basics. The company will be rotating inventory out on a weekly basis, as items become more or less popular on its website, Cameron James, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division, told CNBC. James also said he anticipates the shop, which is roughly 4,000 square feet in size and has a large portion of space dedicated to gifts and toys, will be buzzing with people this holiday season.
“SoHo is not just one of the premier shopping areas in New York, it’s also one of the premier shopping destinations in the country,” James told CNBC from inside the store Thursday morning. “When opening a concept like this you want to be where there are a lot of shoppers who are super engaged, and this is a great place to do it.”
James wouldn’t comment on Amazon’s plans to open more stores like this one across the U.S. “You’ll have to wait and see,” he said.
Bringing Amazon’s website to life, the store has digital price tags next to items that show how much Prime members would save on a purchase. Shoppers will also be able to see how many ratings an item has received, what the average rating is, along with certain reviews on display throughout the store. Amazon even has a table in the store that shows items “frequently bought together,” something the company has always highlighted on its website. Specific to New York, the store in SoHo will bring in items trending in the city at any given time, which on Thursday included a cast iron skillet, a new book by actress Reese Witherspoon and a portable Black & Decker vacuum cleaner.
CNBC walked the new store when it opened. Here’s what it looks like: