Is a Brick-And-Mortar Amazon Store Coming to Grand Rapids?
Did you know that Amazon has actual in-person stores? Well they do, and they're reportedly planning to open the first one in West Michigan soon.
Amazon to Open Store at Woodland Mall
According to Wood TV 8, documents show that Amazon has filed for a building permit to renovate a 4,700-square foot retail space at Woodland Mall, in the Von Maur wing:
Site plans... list merchandise tables, merchandise storage a 'digital deals' sign and vinyl and illuminated '4-star' signs among the fixtures needed for the project.
The new Amazon store would have a 79-person capacity.
Woodland Mall is owned by PREIT; a spokesperson from told Wood TV 8 on the matter,
While we have a long history of bringing first-to-market tenants to Woodland Mall, we are not able to confirm this.
Wood TV 8 reached out to Amazon too and has yet to hear back.
What is An Amazon 4-Star Store?
Now, maybe like me, you're wondering, "What's the point of a brick-and-mortar Amazon store?" Because well, isn't part of the appeal of shopping online from Amazon that you can do so from your couch and you DON'T have to leave the house and put on real pants?
Amazon 4-star is a store designed to help customers discover products they will love. It’s a physical store that carries a highly curated selection of products from the top categories across amazon.com including devices, consumer electronics, toys, games, books, kitchen, home, and more. Every product in the store is rated 4 stars and above by our customers, a top seller, or new and trending on amazon.com.
They also point out that you can test out Amazon devices and smart home accessories at their 4-star locations.
According to Amazon, you don't need a Prime Membership to shop at a 4-star store, but Prime members will pay the same Prime price in store as they do online.
Amazon says their 4-star stores are different from their other physical location concepts- Amazon Books and Amazon Go - because the 4-star stores,
are an extension of amazon.com.... [We] have filled our stores with familiar product groupings like you would see online. This includes a 'Most-Wished-For' section, 'If You Like, Then You’ll Love' pairings, 'Highly-Rated' tables, and more. Unlike Amazon Go, we do not have 'Just Walk Out' technology. We encourage customers to browse and explore as long as they need to discover great products.
You also won't find food at Amazon 4-star stores, like at Amazon Go or Whole Foods - which, Amazon is actually finishing up construction right now on West Michigan's first Whole Foods right across the 28th Street from the Woodland Mall, next to Guitar Center.
How Many Amazon 4-Star Stores are There?
Amazon is operating more than 30 4-star stores across the U.S. currently, with many more "coming soon" according to their website.
So far, there's one other Amazon 4-star store in Michigan, in at the Somerset Collection in Troy.
According to Wood TV 8, it's unclear when the Woodland Mall location will open.