Amazon Brick-it After Times UK Spread The Mortar

An interesting story has appeared over the weekend, reported in the business section of the Times UK, about secret plans by Amazon to launch brick and mortar retail outlets. Amazon have been extraordinarily quick to refute them through a Reuters report.

“A spokesman for the group said it had no plans to open physical stores after the Sunday Times reported the group was looking to cash in on the rising customer demand for so-called click and collect services, where customers buy goods online and pick them up from a shop.

The Sunday Times report, which cited property landlords and a source familiar with the proposals, said the offer would save consumers from having to wait in for home deliveries.”

From Reuters report.

Two things strike me straight away about these reports. One – I take any news story which uses the word ‘secret’ in it with a large grain of salt. Two – Amazon shot themselves in the foot by refuting the story so quickly. I think there are a combination of things going on here. Business journalists and economists love being right and second guessing the development strategy of big business. We never hear from them when they get it wrong, but they are right there on the media front line when they get it right. With this story – the business media are looking at the recent fortunes of Borders UK now in financial administration, and the development of ‘click and collect’ services (buy online – pick up from a nominated partnered store). This is a case of adding two and two and getting five.

The speed Amazon reacted to the news tells me something is certainly in the pipe-line. I can’t see Amazon investing in Borders UK real estate, but there may be some plan to partner with their advertised and online hosted retailers to provide pick-up points for online purchases.

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