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Amazon’s 4-Star Store a 1-Star Experience

by Robert Hetu  |  November 13, 2018  |  Comments Off on Amazon’s 4-Star Store a 1-Star Experience

Much has been written about the merchandising, or lack thereof in Amazon’s 4-Star stores, but my visit to it’s Spring Street location in NYC was disappointing. Curiosity was clearly the driver for customers, and to be fair its interesting to see what locals are purchasing. However that is where the interesting part ends. The store does nothing to augment the online experience or extend the brand past its catalog foundation.


Overall its just a confusing mix of stuff, resembling a Five Below in its merchandising strategy, albeit less congruent. At Five Below there is a logical backbone driving merchandising strategy, nothing more than $5. The 4-Star approach falls significantly short of providing a purpose for the store. The only section providing a logical structure was the Amazon technology area, something that is also the driver in its book store locations. Displays on the same shelf or table range dramatically, offering little congruity.

While spending a lot of time in the store I observed very little sales activity. The basics area, where cables and other such technology support are offered, likely generate sales but also contained many out of stock slots. I suspect a very small percentage of customers make purchases, or even visit the store more than once. Amazon likely has a larger purpose for this store format however in my opinion its unlikely that its to drive physical sales.

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Category: retail-trends  

Tags: amazon  assortment  consumers  customer-analytics  customer-centricity  ecommerce  merchandising  multichannel  retail  stores  unified-retail-commerce  

Robert Hetu
VP, Analyst Retail
7 years at Gartner
29 years IT Industry

Bob Hetu is a Research Director with the Gartner Retail Industry Services team. His responsibilities involve tracking the technology markets and trends impacting the broad-based retail merchandising and planning areas. Mr. Hetu is an expert in the areas of brand, vendor and assortment management, merchandise planning, allocation, and replenishment. Read Full Bio

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