STORE SPACES

Amazon Go opens its third location

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Barely a week after its second location opened its doors, Amazon Go has introduced its third store — and its biggest to date.

On Monday, the online giant opened its third cashier-less Amazon Go convenience store in its hometown of Seattle. The 2,100-sq.-ft. location, which was originally announced in January, is its largest store yet, reported Tech Crunch.

The new location will operate between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The store features ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items, and grocery essentials. It also features Amazon meal kits,

To shop the store, shoppers launch the Amazon Go app on their mobile device as they enter, and take the products they want off of store shelves. Amazon’s “walk out” technology automatically detects when products are taken off (or returned) to the shelves, and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When customers are done shopping, they just leave the store.

Shortly after, they receive a digital receipt and their Amazon account is also charged for the order, according to Amazon’s website.

The e-retailer opened its first Amazon Go store to the public in January. Prior to that, it was open a year in a test mode exclusively to Amazon employees. The online giant opened its second location on Aug. 27, albeit it’s a smaller footprint that features a limited menu and shorter hours.

Amazon plans to expand the concept into other cities, including Chicago and San Francisco.

Eager to give Amazon a run for their money, other retailers are introducing their own cashierless concepts. For example, Walmart is launching a new Sam’s Club concept store that is focused on fresh foods and digital technology. The new 32,000 sq. ft., technology-driven store
location, which will set up shop in Dallas, will feature the company’s Scan & Go mobile self-checkout system, and digital signage. It will also feature fast membership sign-up process, along with self-serve returns, and same-day pickup and delivery options.

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STORE SPACES

Fashion accessories retailer drops anchor in New York

BY Marianne Wilson

Shoppers can design their own jewelry at Kendra Scott’s new East Coast flagship.

The Austin, Texas-based fashion accessories brand has opened in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The two-story, 1,700-sq.-ft. store is the retailer’s first permanent location in New York City. It comes after years of successful pop-ups and in-store shop experiences.

The new space was designed with the locale in mind, and includes New York-inspired art that evokes the spirit of the city, along with Terrazzo floors. The first Kendra Scott to feature two floors, the SoHo store is warm, inviting and fashionable. The store offers the full collection of Kendra Scott jewelry, home items, candles and nail lacquer. It also features the brand’s personalized “Color Bar” that allows shoppers to design their own jewelry using a wide range of Kendra Scott stones and silhouettes. (The experience is also available online.)

“I’ve always wanted to open a store in New York City and after 16 years of growing this company, now is the right time to bring a bit of Austin to the Big Apple,” said founder, designer and philanthropist Kendra Scott. “We’ve seen great enthusiasm from our NYC-based customers for this move and are excited to bring our bold pieces and one-of-a-kind store experiences to a location that is known for being at the center of the fashion and lifestyle industry.”

Extending the brand’s commitment to philanthropy, which is a core philosophy for Kendra Scott, the SoHo store will host “Kendra Gives Back” events to connect with the local community and support causes that matter to them, which are just a few of the more than 10,000 events held nationwide every year.

Kendra Scott has 80 standalone stores across the United States, and is also sold in upscale department stores and 600 specialty boutiques worldwide. The company was founded in 2002.

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STORE SPACES

All Birds going offline with stores

BY Marianne Wilson

The maker of what it calls “the world’s most comfortable shoes” is expanding its brick-and-mortar presence.

Allbirds, the eco-friendly online brand with a fast-growing following, has opened a nearly 5,000-sq.-ft. store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The store will replace a much smaller, temporary outpost that All Birds opened in the area last September.

The SoHo opening coincides with the unveiling of the brand’s updated store near its headquarters in San Francisco. And more are in the works. Allbirds, which launched online in 2014, plans to open eight more stores in the U.S. during the next year, including locations in Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., reported CNBC.

Allbird’s signature footwear is made from renewable Merino wool. (The company says that the wool minimizes odor, regulates temperature, and wicks moisture.) The brand has expanded its product lineup from two items — a “lounger” and a casual sneaker — with a sneaker called Tree Runners, made of naturally derived and renewable eucalyptus tree fiber, and SweetFoam flip-flops, which are made out of a sugar-based outsole material.

“Given how tactile our product and brand story is, it’s important that we continue to create these opportunities to interact with customers,” Allbirds co-founder Joey Zwillinger told CNBC.

The new SoHo store was designed in collaboration with Partners & Spade, New York. Similar to the temporary SoHo space it has a minimalist design. Signage and graphics go into detail about the sustainable materials used to make AllBirds’ products.

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