According to The Wall Street Journal, Amazon's rumored experiment with a department store could use a similar high-tech approach to selling clothing as it did with groceries. Amazon had previously been reported as considering opening department shops in California and Ohio. This would be a natural extension of its push into physical retail. The department stores will likely carry its own clothing brands.
The Journal suggests that Amazon-branded department stores would be similar to Amazon's cashier-less Go shops. One idea is to scan the QR codes of items customers want to try on using a smartphone app. Then, sales associates will gather those items and place them in a dressing area.
A high-tech dressing room
Customers could request more clothing once they are in the fitting room. A touch screen might allow them to ask for additional items based on what pieces they like. Amazon is also said to be considering automating the shopping process with robots. It is not clear how exactly this will work.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazons stores will not only sell Amazons clothing brands, but also offer products from other retailers that are available on Amazons online marketplace. In 2016, the company launched a major push in apparel and is now under scrutiny for copying rivals with its house brands. According to Wells Fargo reports, Amazon is now the largest apparel retailer in America, surpassing Walmart. This is before considering the impact physical department stores might have on recognition of the company's brands and the company's brand. Amazon could sell its clothes in department stores to give their products an identity other than their affordable prices.
The Verge asked Amazon about the plans and Amazon replied that it does not comment on rumors. These plans could mean that Amazon department stores will offer a different shopping experience than traditional clothing shops for shoppers and employees. The automated and efficient solutions Amazon is reportedly looking at for customers can be compared to the way it manages its employees in its warehouses and distribution centres. Hopefully, the comparisons will end for future employees.