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Why would Amazon open a brick-and-mortar store in New York?

Ahead of the holiday shopping season, online retail giant Amazon.com is planning to open its first brick-and-mortar store in New York, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

The storefront will offer something that has eluded the company for 20 years: face-to-face contact between Amazon employees and customers in a traditional retail setting. But why would Amazon now choose to open a retail store? “Same-day delivery [within New York], ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on. Amazon needs to be at the center of that,” said Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer. “Opening a physical location is ‘about marketing the Amazon brand,'” Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer told the WSJ. “Same-day delivery [within New York], ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on. Amazon needs to be at the center of that.”

The space will also provide product returns and exchanges and sell Amazon devices such as the Kindle e-reader, and it’s Fire line of smartphones, tablets and televisions.

Despite the success of cyber shopping, New York Magazine also points out that Americans still prefer to make in-store purchases, mainly because we like to see and touch products before we buy them.

Amazon’s store will be located on West 34th Street, a high traffic area in Manhattan, across the street from the Empire State Building and shares the street with Macy’s Herald Square flagship store.

Although Amazon has yet to officially announce the store and details remain scant, sources close to the plans say the space will open in time for the upcoming holiday season.

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