Global ecommerce giant Amazon is looking to strengthen its India play by expanding its presence to offline mediums.
Amazon plans to roll out more than 100 kiosks in malls across the country that will sell its devices such as the Kindle ebook reader, the Echo speaker and the Fire TV dongle by the end of the year, a report said citing sources.
This is being speculated to be a precursor to a broader entry into brick-and-mortar stores in India for Amazon. The company is reportedly looking for 70-80 sqft kiosk space, which will run by third-party franchisees.
An Amazon spokesperson reportedly commented saying, “We do not speculate on our future roadmap, but we’re always looking at ways to provide the best experience to our customers. The Amazon Devices Kiosk gives customers a first-hand experience of the devices. Customers can walk up to the kiosk and take an assisted live demo of Kindle, Fire TV and Echo family of devices with the help of the store staff before purchasing devices. The store staff is also available to solve customer queries, pre and post purchase.”
This is not the first time Amazon has put offline kiosks at play for a wider reach to its customers. Earlier in 2017, Amazon set up kiosks in Bengaluru and has been operating four of them — two in the Karnataka capital and one each in Mumbai and Ahmedabad — for more than a year. The fifth kiosk came in Logix Mall in Noida.
However, the offline push comes in contrast with Amazon’s US operations where, in February, the company announced that it was closing more than 80 popup stores in US malls after years of trials with the concept.
At the same time, in India, players like Google and Myntra have continued to bet big on offline expansion. Google had experimented with more than a dozen popup stores in malls in India, while Myntra, the online fashion arm of Walmart-owned Flipkart, operates various stores of Spanish fashion brand Mango as well as private brand Roadster in various cities.
[The development was reported by ET.]