Another brick-and-mortar Amazon store opens its doors today: Amazon 4-star, at a new location in New York City’s Soho district. The retail giant’s new store only sells products that have been rated four stars or above on Amazon.com, plus Amazon’s own products.
The company writes in a blog post that Amazon 4-star is a “direction reflection of our customers,” and in a way that’s true.
Discovery appears to be one of the main purposes of the new store. Not only does the store highlight the most-loved items on Amazon.com, but the company also organizes them into specific categories like Most-Wished-For, Trending Around NYC, Amazon Exclusives, and others.
As with most Amazon endeavors, Prime members reap benefits in the new store: they’ll pay the Amazon.com price, while non-Prime members pay MSRP. Digital price tags list both prices, as well as the amount Prime members save, the average star review for the item, and the total number of reviews.
Over the past few years, Amazon has pushed its way into the brick-and-mortar space after understanding its benefits for a primarily online business. The company’s acquisition of Whole Foods gave it hundreds of stores in the US through which customers could buy groceries and other household items and through which Amazon could expand services such as grocery delivery and pickup.
Amazon has a number of other stores, too: Amazon bookstores sell only the most popular books on its website, and cashierless Amazon Go stores act as the company’s slowly expanding convenience store chain. Amazon Go is arguably the company’s most strategic brick-and-mortar play, as it allows Amazon to track customer behavior in-store using cameras and its mobile app. It’s rumored that Amazon wants to open 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.
In addition to gleaning more insight into customers’ shopping habits, Amazon 4-star also gives the company another physical location to showcase its own devices. Amazon 4-star has tables dedicated to the newest Echo and Fire TV devices. Brick-and-mortar stores give customers the opportunity to play around with Amazon devices that they may not have seen in person before buying on Amazon.com.
Currently, it’s unclear if we could see more Amazon 4-star stores open in other locations in the future.