Even as companies such as Deloitte argue that more buying will happen online than in stores this holiday season, the value of stores remains clear. That’s partly why Amazon paid nearly $14 billion for Whole Foods earlier this year and why the company is seeking to launch holiday shops in selected markets across the US.
In a press release, Amazon said today that Whole Foods customers in 100 stores will be able to shop for Alexa and Kindle devices. Special pop-up stores will open in several markets: Chicago, Illinois; Rochester Hills, Michigan; Davie, Florida; Pasadena, California; and Denver, Colorado. Amazon personnel in these pop-up shops will also be promoting Prime and Prime-related services.
In addition, Amazon is rolling out Amazon Lockers in some Whole Foods locations.
Whether or not customers ultimately buy Alexa devices online or in stores, the ability to see and examine them in person will undoubtedly boost sales. It’s very hard to argue that Apple would be as successful as it is today without its network of physical stores.
Last year, Amazon opened a few pop-up shops in malls. In addition, Alexa devices are on display in Amazon bookstores. Google Home devices are available in Target, Walmart, Best Buy and Bed, Bath & Beyond.