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Amazon may buy some RadioShack stores in latest quest to be more like Apple

Amazon may buy some RadioShack stores in latest quest to be more like Apple

RadioShack. Malls. America.

RadioShack. Malls. America.

Above: RadioShack. Malls. America.

Image Credit: Mike Mozart

Not content to be a dominant force in the virtual land of e-commerce, it appears Amazon may be pushing into the physical realm by acquiring some stores from RadioShack.

According to a report today by Bloomberg Business, Amazon is in talks with the distressed electronics retailer. Amazon joins other bidders, including Sprint, who want to buy the outlets from RadioShack, which headed toward bankruptcy court.

If such a deal comes to pass, it’s likely driven by Amazon’s desire to have a place where consumers can see and touch its growing array of electronics hardware, including the Fire Phone, Fire TV, and Kindle Fire.

In other words, it wants to embrace the strategy that allowed Apple to introduce a series of revolutionary gadgets over the past decade. Apple executives have long said that the seemingly counterintuitive strategy of building hundreds of retail stores created an intimate setting where consumers could experience new devices.

Microsoft also tried to adopt that strategy, opening a series of Microsoft stores, with mixed results. Now we’ll see if Amazon is next.

Should Amazon go down this road, it’s notable for a few reasons.

First, observers will love the delicious irony of the company that was supposed to demolish brick-and-mortar retailing now coming full circle to embrace that which it had set out to kill.

Second, and perhaps more important, it means that Amazon is doubling down on its hardware investments, rather than backing away after the Fire Phone debacle last year.

Finally, with investors finally starting to get a bit more critical of Amazon’s lack of profitability, taking on a costly retrofit of retail stores most closely associated with malls and hair metal bands and the 1980s will likely raise some eyebrows on Wall Street.

For all this speculation, it’s worth noting that we’ve been down this road with Amazon before, so such reports should be taken with more than a grain of salt. Last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon would open its first brick-and-mortar retail store in New York City for the holidays. But it never happened.

Source: Bloomberg Business

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where cu… read more »

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