Sick of Sending Clothes Back to Amazon? Amazon-Branded Department Stores Coming


An unconfirmed rumor first reported by the Wall Street Journal holds that major online retailer Amazon could be shifting its business model to accommodate more retail locations. While the major online retailer already owns the grocery store chain Whole Foods and some automated Amazon Go locations, these rumors hold that a new Amazon-branded department store might be next on the company’s to-do list.

This news comes even as major retail outlets like JC Penny have begun filing for bankruptcy. The pressure of lockdowns and vaccine-resistant variants has caused a major downturn in revenue for big department stores. Ironically, it’s Amazon who has benefitted the most from this: most shoppers have diverted their spending from department stores directly to Amazon’s online emporium.

Why Branch into Retail?

Amazon is looking to break into the department store business for one major reason: selling the kinds of things people don’t like to buy online. The main focus of this store will reportedly be clothing. Most people don’t like the idea of buying clothing from an online retailer and then trying it on to see if it fits. Even though you can simply send clothes that don’t fit back to the retailer for a refund or exchange them for different sizes, that’s a lot of hassle for something that would be much simpler in a department store.

As such, Amazon’s department stores will allegedly focus primarily on clothing and furniture. Furniture, like clothing, is the kind of item you often want to see in person and get hands-on with before you buy it. Who buys a couch without sitting on it first? Nobody, that’s who.

The locations are also rumored to have housewares and electronics, not unlike existing retailers like Macy’s and Sears. Of course, Amazon is a large part of the reason those department stores are struggling. It will be interesting to see if the online retailer finds brick-and-mortar success where their competitors have floundered.

Opening and Locations

The brick-and-mortar locations are expected to open in Ohio and California initially. If they perform well, it’s easy to predict Amazon opening locations nationwide. After all, their warehouse logistics network already spans the entire country.

While there is no official word from Amazon about these stores, one would expect they will be opening at some point in 2022. In the meantime, the company’s online store continues to rake in millions of dollars every single day. Suffice it to say, Amazon is well on its way to taking over the world.