Amazon Unveils NYC Retail Store for 4+ Star Online Products

Amazon has opened a brick-and-mortar retail store, dubbed Amazon 4-star, in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. Amazon 4-star is so named because it will carry goods — starting off with consumer electronics, kitchen, home, toys, books and games — that shoppers have rated with at least four stars, are sold by top sellers or are “new and trending.” This physical retail store joins Amazon’s 12+ bookstores and a few cashierless Go convenience stores, as well as the Whole Foods grocery stores it acquired.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to sources, Amazon “company executives have recognized the value of having a store focused on certain product categories,” since stores let the company “learn about how consumers browse in person, a valuable category of data not available online.”

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos tapped Steve Kessel, who developed the Kindle e-reader and its Fire tablet, to reinvent “the in-store shopping experience.” WSJ states that, “the 4-star store appears to follow a similar format and strategy as Amazon Books,” offering Prime members the same prices as online “while nonmembers will pay the list price.”

At Amazon 4-star, “Most-Wished-For” products, from “its online site’s customer wish lists,” will be featured, “as well as products bought by New Yorkers” and its own devices.

The Verge reports that, according to an Amazon statement, “today, the average rating of all the products in Amazon 4-star is 4.4 stars, and collectively, the products in store have earned more than 1.8 million 5-star customer reviews.” Manhattan is already home to two Amazon Books retail locations.

In addition to the “Most-Wished-For” collection of products and “Trending Around NYC” products that New York City customers are buying, Amazon will feature “Frequently Bought Together” and “Amazon Exclusives.” The store will also feature “customer review cards with quotes from actual customer reviews.”