Executive Briefings

Amazon Looks to Lure Holiday Shoppers Offline and Into Its Stores

Amazon goes into the holiday season with a newly magnified brick-and-mortar presence, giving it more opportunities to sell its Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and other gadgets.

Amazon Looks to Lure Holiday Shoppers Offline and Into Its Stores

The online retailer now has more than a dozen Amazon Books stores, which also sell toys, electronics and small gifts. Kohl’s has carved out space for Amazon shops in 10 of its department stores. Amazon also has small shops in several malls, and is selling most of its gadgets in 100 Whole Foods stores and opening pop-up shops in five.

But the Seattle-based company’s physical stores are a small part of its business, making up just 3 percent of its total revenue between July and September, even though it bought Whole Foods and its 470 stores during that period. And its online sales will still dominate. Bain & Co. analysts expect Amazon.com Inc. to take about half of the total growth in online sales during holiday shopping season.

Still, having a physical presence gives shoppers a chance to see and try out Amazon gadgets, and maybe buy. It also gives shoppers a chance to “interact” with Amazon employees, and learn more about the products, analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets say.

Here are some other trends this holiday season:

Turmoil in Toyland

Being in the toy business seems less fun these days.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September, hampered by the weight of its debt. Barbie-maker Mattel and rival Hasbro the company behind Monopoly and My Little Pony, said their recent financial results were hurt by the Toys R Us Chapter 11 filing. Both said they temporarily slowed shipments to Toys R Us ahead of the bankruptcy, but that their toys would be on the retailer’s shelves before the holidays.

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The online retailer now has more than a dozen Amazon Books stores, which also sell toys, electronics and small gifts. Kohl’s has carved out space for Amazon shops in 10 of its department stores. Amazon also has small shops in several malls, and is selling most of its gadgets in 100 Whole Foods stores and opening pop-up shops in five.

But the Seattle-based company’s physical stores are a small part of its business, making up just 3 percent of its total revenue between July and September, even though it bought Whole Foods and its 470 stores during that period. And its online sales will still dominate. Bain & Co. analysts expect Amazon.com Inc. to take about half of the total growth in online sales during holiday shopping season.

Still, having a physical presence gives shoppers a chance to see and try out Amazon gadgets, and maybe buy. It also gives shoppers a chance to “interact” with Amazon employees, and learn more about the products, analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets say.

Here are some other trends this holiday season:

Turmoil in Toyland

Being in the toy business seems less fun these days.

Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy protection in September, hampered by the weight of its debt. Barbie-maker Mattel and rival Hasbro the company behind Monopoly and My Little Pony, said their recent financial results were hurt by the Toys R Us Chapter 11 filing. Both said they temporarily slowed shipments to Toys R Us ahead of the bankruptcy, but that their toys would be on the retailer’s shelves before the holidays.

Read Full Article

Amazon Looks to Lure Holiday Shoppers Offline and Into Its Stores