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Amazon may open hundreds of bricks and mortar stores

06 February 2015 - 12:57 by David Aiken

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Although Amazon has made a name for itself by offering safe shopping online, rather than relying on the high street for sales, all this could change if reports of a major takeover of real world stores over in the US turn out to be accurate.

According to Bloomberg, talks are being held between Amazon and failed electronics retailer, RadioShack, which could result in the e-commerce giant acquiring hundreds of outlets across America, allowing it to enter the traditional retail market in one fell swoop.

Last week, Amazon revealed that in 2014 it had sold £59 billion worth of goods via safe shopping online internationally. And in many places, it accounts for a decent chunk of the total online spend, so it has a lot of cash to back up its high street intentions.

RadioShack had 4,000 stores across the US before it went bust and now Amazon is apparently looking to move into several hundred of them, if the price is right.

The question that people will be asking is why Amazon would even want to start up a bricks and mortar business, especially given that it has been one of the biggest proponents of the online-only approach to retail. With high street sales in decline in the UK and elsewhere, now must surely look like a bad time to make this leap.

For Amazon, the answer seems to be that it is going to attempt to rival Apple as a high street brand and use the stores to sell its range of Kindle devices.

Apple Stores have been a great help in promoting the popularity of the iPhone and iPad in recent years. And while Amazon has had some success with its Kindle Fire tablets, the Fire Phone was not the success it had been anticipating, perhaps necessitating this rethink of its retail approach.