Amazon is expanding its brick-and-mortar footprint with a new kind of store, the company announced this afternoon. On Thursday, the retailer will open an “Amazon 4-Star” store in New York, where all the items it sells are rated 4 stars and above, are a top seller, or are new and trending on Amazon. It’s effectively a real-world introduction to Amazon’s best products, in other words.
The store will be located in SoHo, on Spring Street between Crosby and Lafayette Streets, and will be open 10 AM – 9 PM Monday through Saturday, and 11 AM – 8 PM on Sundays.
The 4-Star store, Amazon explains in an announcement, is “a direct reflection of our customers—what they’re buying and what they’re loving.”
Amazon, thanks to its massive e-commerce site, does know what sells. The average rating of all the products it stocks in the new store is 4.4 stars, and combined, the products have amassed more than 1.8 million 5-star customer reviews, the retailer says.
The store is divided into sections like “Most Wished For” items, which represent those people are adding to their Amazon Wish Lists, as well as “Amazon Exclusives,” and “Frequently Bought Together,” which represents the Amazon algorithm come to life. It will also feature some locally popular products in its “Trending Around NYC” section.
At launch, the store includes items like the card game Codenames (4.8 stars, with more than 2,000 customer reviews); a Lodge 3.5 Inch Cast Iron Mini Skillet (4.4 stars, with more than 10,900 customer reviews), and, naturally, Amazon’s own devices like the Echo Spot (4.5 stars, with more than 5,600 customer reviews), and the Fire TV Stick (4.4 stars, with more than 197,000 customer reviews). Both the Spot and Fire TV Stick were top sellers on Amazon Prime Day this year, and are among Amazon’s overall best sellers.
What’s interesting about Amazon 4-Star is how the items are priced.
Shoppers who are Prime members will pay the Amazon.com price for their purchases, while non-Prime members will pay the list price. The store will also work as a fairly expensive user acquisition strategy for Amazon, given the cost of real estate – non-Prime members will have the option to sign up for a free Prime trial in the store in order to get the Amazon.com discount.
Amazon has been steadily expanding into real-world venues in recent years. It acquired a large brick-and-mortar footprint with its acquisition of green grocer Whole Foods, and has been steadily launching its new cashierless Amazon Go stores in select markets, as well. It also has some Amazon Books stores and other pop-ups focused on device sales around the U.S.
The retailer didn’t say if it intends to bring 4-Star to other locations either in or outside NYC in the future.