Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Amazon reportedly plans to open department stores, starting in California and Ohio


A year after The Wall Street Journal reported Amazon had an interest in using empty mall spaces as fulfillment centers, the business paper is back with a rumor that Amazon is planning to open department store-style locations of its own. The reported plan is for stores that are smaller than your average 100,000-square-foot Macy’s or JC Penney location, with a footprint that’s only about 30,000 square feet, which is closer to the size of Kohl’s stores that already handle Amazon returns.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is the difference between brick-and-mortar retail and e-commerce?
  2. Given Amazon’s success in e-commerce, why would they want to open brick-and-mortar department stores?
  3. What do you think these stores might look like? Do you think they will provide the same overall shopping experience as other department stores? Why or why not?
  4. What is competition?
  5. Who might Amazon be competing with as they begin to test department store concepts?
  6. Why do you think they are planning to open stores in much smaller spaces than some of their competitors?
  7. What might Amazon be able to do to gain a competitive advantage?
  8. Why do you think they are only opening stores in California and Ohio at this time?
  9. How do you think they selected those markets?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.