November 28, 2021

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All The Technology

Amazon Department Stores Could Have Robots, QR Codes, Screens: WSJ

  • Sources told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon’s planned department stores could have robots and QR codes.
  • Dressing rooms could have touchscreens for customers requesting more clothes, the sources said.
  • Amazon will sell both own-label clothes and external brands in the stores, The Journal reported.

Amazon’s planned US department stores could feature robots, QR codes, and touch screens in futuristic dressing rooms, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The department stores will mainly sell clothes, including Amazon’s own-label T-shirts, jeans, and other items, as well as clothes from outside brands that sell on the company’s website, people familiar with the matter told The Journal.

“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on rumors or speculation,” an Amazon spokesperson told Insider.

The Journal first reported in August that Amazon planned to open several department-store-style shops in Ohio and California. They are expected to be around 30,000 square feet, smaller than normal department stores, sources told The Journal at the time.

Amazon could eventually introduce robots or other automation machines into the department stores, The Journal reported Wednesday, citing one of the people familiar with the matter.

Amazon has tested a feature that would let customers scan QR codes on items with their smartphone to have store assistants place those items in fitting rooms, sources told The Journal.

Shoppers could request more clothes through a touch screen in the dressing rooms, sources told The Journal, adding that the screens may be able to recommend items similar to customers’ previous requests.

As Insider’s Mary Hanbury previously reported, Amazon has leaned into its brick-and-mortar business in recent years, opening book, electronics, and grocery stores, including Amazon 4-star and Amazon Go.

Critics have long predicted the death of department stores, but Insider’s Hayley Peterson and Mary Hanbury argued that Amazon’s reported decision to open department stores was a savvy one, and would enable the retail giant to showcase its products, reach new customers, and better compete with Walmart.