Amazon explored the idea of opening discount stores or outlets selling unsold electronics and household goods at deep discounts, Bloomberg reported. The proceeds would come from inventory in its warehouses, and the company weighed the opening of permanent locations and pop-up stores in malls and parking lots. The inventory would include smaller items that don’t take up much space, such as housewares, toys, kitchenware, and electronics, but not clothing.
A 2019 report detailed how Amazon is destroying millions of items it can’t sell, ranging from TVs to diapers – although Amazon later promised donate unsold goods. “It’s a way to clean the warehouses and go through the inventory without having to destroy it”, one of the Bloombergthe sources said. Amazon has reportedly dropped the idea for now due to the impact of the pandemic on brick-and-mortar retail, and it just launched the Fresh groceries chain and wanted to focus on that.
Amazon already has a massive retail presence with over 500 Whole Foods locations, 96 Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go and other permanent stores and seven shopping center pop-ups, Bloomberg Noted. Low-cost electronics and housewares stores would be a huge expansion as they are two of the main categories of consumer goods on its website, according to Statista. Given the popularity of Black Friday and other sales, it’s easy to see consumers flocking to stores looking for bargains – good for sales, but not during a pandemic.