Don't look now, but the king of e-tailing is inching into the land of brick-and-mortar retailing. Amazon has confirmed plans to open two or three small physical stores in San Francisco, New York and possibly Sacramento in time for the 2014 holiday shopping season. They won't all be performing the same role – New York will host a kind of mini-warehouse for same-day fulfillment, while San Francisco apparently will offer Amazon's own range of branded products, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and smartphones. Still, the move represents a radical step for Amazon, and raises all kinds of questions about how the company will support a traditional retailing venture, and what it means for the entire sector. Offering her views of the development is Maria Haggerty, chief executive officer of Dotcom Distribution, a provider of warehousing and e-commerce fulfillment services for retailers large and small. Hosted by Bob Bowman, managing editor of SupplyChainBrain.
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