Amazon to open its first tech-driven physical clothing outlet in US

The shop, Amazon Style, will use machine learning to offer customised, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop

Amazon's first physical clothing shop will open at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale, California. AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

US retail company Amazon is opening a physical apparel store that will be called Amazon Style, further expanding its presence in the bricks-and-mortar segment.

The first store will be open at the Americana at Brand shopping mall in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in California later this year, the company said on Thursday.

The store will offer women’s and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories from various brands.

Quote
With the tap of a button, shoppers can add the item to a fitting room or, if they don’t need to try it on, send it directly to the pickup counter
Simoina Vasen, managing director of Amazon Style

Amazon Style is built around personalisation, said Simoina Vasen, managing director of Amazon Style.

“Personal styling used to be expensive and feel exclusive, but with Amazon Style’s sophisticated technology, unique store design and thoughtful curation, we have made it easier than ever for customers to discover items they will look and feel great in,” Ms Vasen said.

The National reported in August about Amazon's plans to enter the physical clothing retail business.

The e-commerce company will use machine learning algorithms to offer customised, real-time recommendations for each customer as they shop. Customers can share information such as their style, fit and other preferences to receive more refined recommendations.

Customers can also shop items on Amazon.com and request delivery to Amazon Style to try them on in a fitting room.

“If an item isn't perfect, customers can return it in store and we'll take care of the rest,” Ms Vasen said.

It is not clear which brands Amazon will sell in its stores, but it is likely to sell items across categories including electronic goods, household objects, sports equipment and clothing.

Amazon Style is the Seattle-based company’s latest foray into physical retail.

The entrance turnstiles of a new Starbucks outlet, its first in partnership with Amazon Go that lets customers check out without a cashier, in New York. Reuters

Currently, it has physical outlets selling books and groceries. It also runs pop-up shops across the US. Pop-ups bring the goods from the millions of products available on Amazon.com to shopping malls.

In February 2020, Amazon opened its first full-size, cashier-less grocery store – Amazon Go Grocery – in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Seattle.

In March it opened a convenience store in west London, its first physical outlet outside North America. As of July 2020, Amazon's physical retail store count reached 89, or 589 including supermarket chain Whole Foods. It bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017.

The company’s first Amazon Style outlet is expected to cover almost 2,787 square metres – smaller than most big department stores that usually cover an area of about 9,290 square metres.

The new store aims to make physical shopping a seamless experience by using the latest technology, Amazon said.

Using the Amazon shopping app, customers can scan an item’s QR code to see sizes, colours, ratings and additional product details.

“With the tap of a button, shoppers can add the item to a fitting room or, if they don’t need to try it on, send it directly to the pickup counter,” Ms Vasen said.

Amazon Fresh cashierless convenience store in London. Amazon Fresh now has 15 stores in the US and five in the UK. Bloomberg

“Amazon Style offers more selection than a traditional store of its size … more than double the number of styles … without requiring customers to sift through racks to find the right colour, size and fit.”

Shopping from the fitting room

Amazon Style aims to turn a fitting room into a personalised space for customers.

When customers enter the fitting room, they will find the items they requested while browsing the store, plus additional options chosen based on their preferences, the company said.

Customers can continue shopping from their fitting room without having to leave. Using the touchscreen, they can rate items in real time and request more styles and sizes to be delivered to their fitting room, Ms Vasen said.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 3:55 PM
NEWSLETTERS
MORE FROM THE NATIONAL