Amazon.com and other Internet retailers are going to destroy malls, and no one is ever going to shop in a physical store again. Those were the predictions we heard years back from plenty of pundits weighing in on the fate of the retail industry.
Well, we now know that they were totally wrong and that the Web has complemented brick-and-mortar retail, with some chains such as Macy’s having online operations that are about as success as Internet-only ventures.
Now something might happen that could make the death-of-the-store predictors look like total morons. Amazon, that big, bad, evil, shopping-center killer could start opening stores.
Since Amazon won’t comment on the rumor, we don’t know what to expect. One blogger goes through a variety of scenarios, saying it could be a warehouse store, an Apple-store clone, or a place that’s more of a showroom where you can check out items on display and have them sent to your home. We view the last option as the most likely.
But think of all of the different products that Amazon sells, from books to food, to electronics, to jewelry. Oh yeah, we almost forgot books. The store would be huge, right?
Well, we are proposing that Amazon just start opening up its own branded malls and turn the industry upside down in ways that no one ever expected.