WSJ: Amazon may open department stores with ‘high-tech’ locker rooms next year

Amazon wants to set up its own high-tech department stores. These would be equipped with touchscreens in the fitting rooms, QR codes with the products and, in the long term, robots that bring garments to be fitted to the fitting rooms.

The Wall Street Journal writes all this on the basis of “sources familiar with the matter.” Shoppers would walk through the department stores with the Amazon app in hand. If they then scan the QR code with a product, it is placed ready for them at a fitting room. Amazon does not design the clothing itself and would fill the stores with clothing from brands that already sell on the platform.

Once they have arrived in that fitting room, customers can give more instructions on a touchscreen. Other articles from the catalog can be added. In addition, suggestions can be given based on what they already have in the fitting room and the further viewing and buying history of customers. In time, the human staff who prepare the items in the fitting rooms could also be replaced by robots.

Amazon has been working for some time to gain market share with physical stores in addition to the internet. The internet giant has physical bookstores, supermarkets and also operates pop-up shops. Amazon also tries to gain market share in these stores through innovation. In his supermarkets, for example, there are no cash registers, but it is automatically detected with which a customer leaves the store and the costs are debited from his or her account.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon may open its department stores “next year.” The first two locations are planned for San Francisco and the city of Columbus, Ohio.