The story notes that "the miniature retail storefronts are a separate effort from the physical bookstore that Amazon opened in Seattle last year and are primarily designed to showcase and sell the company's hardware devices, particularly its Echo home speakers."
According to Business Insider, "As of August, Amazon had 16 pop-up stores in the US — nearly three times as many as the six it had at the end of last year, according to the source. That number is expected to exceed 30 this year and could go up to as many as 100 by next year, as new stores are popping up almost every week in shopping malls across the country ... Pop-up stores, typically 300- to 500-square-foot locations in the middle of shopping malls, carry an assortment of Amazon hardware — including the Kindle e-readers, Fire TV, and the Echo speakers — as well as accessories. But the broader goal is to drive more traffic to Amazon's online store, as these devices make it easier to purchase items there."
- KC's View:
I had a chance to see one of these pop-up stores (pic at left) in San Francisco a few months ago, and it seems to me that they have a lot of advantages for Amazon. Not only do they give the company the chance to show off its technology products, such as the Kindle, Fire TV and Echo - which has the same impact as when Apple started opening stores - but they also don't create legacy problems for Amazon. They can be opened or closed pretty easily, compared to traditional bricks-and-mortar units, and can be far more situational and opportunistic in terms of timing and location.