Amazon is considering buying some RadioShack stores, according to Bloomberg. It would mean the e-commerce giant would finally have a presence in the physical retail market, having previously stopped at simply pondering a flagship store in Manhattan.
So far Amazon has only built pop-up shops and Kindle vending machines.
Amazon has discussed acquiring some RadioShack outlets, Bloomberg reports, as the US electronics franchise prepares for bankruptcy. Yesterday, the New York Stock Exchange declared action to delist the common stock of RadioShack. Trading in shares of RadioShack was to cease with immediate effect.
Amazon is reportedly looking into using the branches as showcases for its hardware. They might also be used for pick-up and drop-off points for online customers.
This would be Amazon’s biggest ever venture into traditional retail. RadioShack has more than 4,000 stores, though it’s unclear whether Amazon wants to buy all of them. Also, Amazon could face bidding competition from Sprint and the investment group behind Brookstone, which are also potential candidates. Or, in fact, the three companies could even share the spoils.
Amazon’s brick-and-mortar store plan in New York City, which had holiday shopping in mind, was probably the main indicator of the company’s advances into customer-facing selling. It was to act as a hub: somewhere for consumers to buy, exchange, order, return, and tellingly put a face to the brand they use so often. It never happened.
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