Amazon leak claims retail giant will soon open physical department stores

Amazon, the company that has long dominated online retail and reshaped the way consumers purchase items, is planning to open a series of small department stores across the US. That's according to sources who have revealed the company's alleged plans, stating that the first of these Amazon-owned department stores will open in Ohio and California.

Fast shipping and a vast product catalog made Amazon a force that many stores couldn't compete with. Many physical retailers have struggled to remain relevant amid the broad changes in how consumers shop — mostly from their phones in the comfort of their homes — and Amazon played a big role in that evolution.

The pandemic placed a huge burden on many already struggling companies, ushering in a new series of bankruptcies and closures. That void may soon be filled by none other than Amazon, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, which cites insiders who claim the Internet giant plans to launch several of its own physical department stores.

Unlike traditional department stores that are often around 100,000sqft, the insiders claim that Amazon's stores will be around a third of that size, offering consumers more immediate access to a variety of household goods, gadgets, clothing, and similar products. The report indicates that Amazon's own brands will get prominent placement in these stores.

The insiders claim the first two of these "several" planned stores will likely open in Ohio and California, though specific cities weren't named. The decision to expand into department stores wouldn't be surprising; Amazon has spent the last several years slowly moving into the physical retail space, including with its Amazon Go convenience stores and its Whole Foods acquisition.