Amazon to Open Retail Store in Manhattan at Time Warner Center

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SEATTLE — Amazon is bringing one of its experiments in brick-and-mortar retailing to New York.

Barricades went up several days ago outside a retail space in the high-end mall at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, with a sign saying an Amazon bookstore would open there soon. On Thursday, an Amazon spokeswoman, Deborah Bass, confirmed that the company would open in a space previously occupied by an Armani Exchange.

The Manhattan location, with an opening planned for the spring, will be the eighth that the internet giant has opened or announced.

Stores in or near Portland, San Diego and Seattle are open now, and Amazon has said it is working on stores in Chicago and Dedham, Mass., near Boston. On Thursday, it updated its listing to include future stores in Lynnfield, Mass., and Paramus, N.J.

The plans for an Amazon store in the Time Warner Center were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

While Amazon has conquered the online shopping market — accounting for 38 percent of e-commerce sales in the United States during the recent holiday season, by one estimate — it has taken a cautious approach to physical retail, where its presence is small.

The company’s strength online and its willingness to test concepts in brick-and-mortar shopping has stirred speculation that it could upend how products are bought and sold in physical stores.

The company recently opened a convenience store, Amazon Go, in Seattle that allows customers to grab soft drinks, sandwiches and other food from shelves and leave without visiting a cash register. Shoppers gain entry to the store with a smartphone application, and are charged for items using sensors and other technologies similar to those in self-driving cars, Amazon has said.

Amazon is expected to test another concept this year that would add a twist to online grocery shopping, a market in which the company has shown a growing interest.

While Amazon already delivers groceries directly to homes through fleets of delivery trucks in Los Angeles, Seattle and other cities, the stores to be tested would have customers place orders online and pick them up by pulling into parking stalls.

Two such stores are under construction in Seattle, according to documents filed with the city’s planning department and two people with knowledge of the effort who asked for anonymity because the plans were confidential. Amazon has declined to discuss the stores.

At first glance, Amazon’s bookstores appear to be more conventional, with rows of shelves and nooks for reading. The company stocks far fewer titles than typical bookstores, using online data to determine which ones to carry.

(Why?)

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