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Michigan’s first Amazon-branded store coming to Somerset Collection

Michigan’s first Inc.-branded retail store is coming Wednesday to Somerset Collection.

Amazon 4-star opens at 10 a.m. in approximately 4,500 square feet in the Troy mall. It’s the latest addition to Amazon’s roster of brick-and-mortar outposts across the U.S., and sells a selection of home goods, electronics, books and other products that are highly rated on the e-commerce behemoth’s website.

While some brick-and-mortar-first retailers attribute their slowing sales to online shopping and Amazon’s eclipsing prominence, the Seattle-based retailer itself sees a market for in-person shopping. The Somerset store is Amazon’s 12th 4-star location. Others are in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Texas, Massachusetts, Washington and New York. The first opened in New York City in fall 2018.

The company has more than 60 physical stores: Amazon 4-star, Amazon Books, Amazon Go convenience stores and Amazon Pop-up stores. And Amazon now owns Whole Foods Market, selling products there. Amazon has opened “pop-up” stores in Whole Foods locations in metro Detroit, including in Rochester Hills.

4-star employees look at pre-orders, sales, reviews, 4-star-and-above ratings and trends on the site to determine what they’ll sell, according to materials supplied by Amazon. Sections throughout the stores advertise “Most wished for on,” “Top sellers in sports and outdoors” or “Top-selling children’s books,” for example.

A localized section called “Trending around Detroit” will feature “products that (metro) Detroit customers are buying at an increased rate right now,” said Celeste Donahoe, director of Amazon’s Physical Stores division. It tracks customers by ZIP codes in the region, she said.

Metro Detroiters are “gearing up to stay home right now,” she said, buying books, cookbooks and heated pet beds — among other things.

4-star’s products are mostly those popular on Amazon, but it does “sprinkle in” some local products, Donahoe said.

She declined to disclose the amount Amazon spent to build out the store.

Crain’s requested comment from a Somerset representative.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on March 10, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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