Adding bricks to the clicks. Why does Amazon need a “Temple?”

A couple of months ago I had speculated that the natural move for online fashion retailers like Net a Porter, would be to open up a retail shop. The move makes sense. Retail stores after all, are glamorous and become the “Temple” for super brands to build desirability. Just look at the lines outside the Apple stores that continue to make it one of the world’s most desirable cult brands. The model clearly supplements the online experience. Studies also indicate that 24% of shoppers look up on line when they are shopping in the stores.

Jeff Bezos, Location of Amazon store New York (Getty images)

Jeff Bezos, Location of Amazon store New York                 (Getty images)

While Jeff Bezos spent an extra few days in India last week, wooing Indian retailers and announcing big investments in the market, Amazon made news with it’s announcement to open its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St (a block away from Macy’s) before the holiday shopping season starts. There are several theories going around explaining Amazon’s decision

Amazon’s relatively recent foray into high end fashion, selling brands like Michael Kors and Kate Spade and advertising in Vogue magazine next to Macys and Bloomingdales builds a case for it to woo the high end customer to buy high-end fashion online – and in stores to bring the  typically personal, sensory experience that fashion demands.

The disruptive strategy will also enable same-day delivery, ordering online and picking up in-store which big retailers have already been leveraging.  There are other favorable statistics supporting Amazon’s decision to enter the high cost physical retail space.The likelihood of high end fashion and beauty retailers partnering with Amazon to be part of the in-store experience Most importantly it’s about marketing the Amazon brand.

What will ensure that this new experiment succeeds and get’s excited customers to queue up will be the uniqueness of the Amazon store concept and the promotions that it launches leveraging the . Whatever be the outcome this will be a new adventure for the  Seattle-based company that has in the past steered clear of typical retailing costs including paying for leases and managing inventory across hundreds of stores. Brick and mortar is after all a new game for Amazon to master.

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