Amazon has been rumored to be opening a mass amount of retail stores for some time, but nothing ever comes of it. A new rumor via sources close to Bloomberg suggest that Amazon is attempting to purchase locations currently owned by RadioShack.
Radioshack currently has over 4,000 locations and due to bankruptcy (and officially having their stock suspended from NYSE trade) they are looking to sell off as many of them as possible, while closing all remaining locations. Currently the two top bidders are supposedly Sprint and Amazon. The Sprint deal is supposedly going to include over 1,200 stores and will be a “cross brand” between Sprint and Radioshack to keep the locations in business. This comes because Radioshack has hinted at having a “store within a store” formula, and Sprint announced an influx of Sprint stores are coming.
Amazon on the other hand has another opportunity. They are rumored to be buying the locations for several reasons. The first being as a way to utilize them to showcase their new tech line up of products. Similar to Apple, Amazon would utilize the stores to display their tablets, phone, and Kindle readers among other gadgets. They have plenty to put on display in that stance.
Another reasoning for Amazon is that they want to make some locations a “pick up and drop off” locations for online customers. This is what truly got me excited. You could buy something online and have it shipped to a location, or have them utilize in store stock, and it would help Amazon a ton. No more waiting all day for the mail man to show up.
To me, as a gamer, this is exciting. Amazon has some of the best deals for video games, plus they often times get “exclusive content” for pre-orders. In order to get them, you need to order through Amazon, this then means you wait all day on launch day hoping a UPS/Fedex driving decides to show up. For me that normally means waiting till 6-8PM at night on launch day to get my game. Instead why not have these products on shelves at a store? Then when they get older, simply move them online and still allow customers to pick up at store?
In terms of size, there are plenty of empty buildings thanks to Radio Shack. Amazon could use some locations for shipping/recieving, while locations in malls can be purely retail.
Being completely honest, do we really need more cell phone stores? No. This is most of the reason RadioShack went belly up to begin with, we have too many. Amazon opening up physical locations has always been exciting to me.
What do you think? Should GameStop be on the lookout?