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Amazon gets physical with plans for New York store

According to reports, Amazon is planning to open its first brick-and-mortar store in New York City in an attempt to provide the more immediate, face-to-face service of traditional retailers.

The store is expected to function as a sort of mini warehouse, which will be used primarily as a place for customers to pick up their online orders, but will also act as a distribution centre for couriers.

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Matt Nemer, analyst at Wells Fargo, said that opening a physical store is "about marketing the Amazon brand."

He went on to say, "Same-day delivery, ordering online and picking up in store are ideas that are really catching on. Amazon needs to be at the centre of that."

However, the risks of such a move are not to be taken lightly. With Amazon's already thin profit margins, added expenses such as leases, employee wages and inventory management could be significant.

The store will be located on 34th Street, across the road from the Empire State Building and a block away from Macy's flagship store at Herald Square, which attracts more than 20 million visitors annually.

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The building was recently hailed by Stephen Theriot, chief financial officer at Vornado, "As a former department store, it's got very high ceilings, it's got big, open floor plates, and that's the type of property that a lot of the creative class tenants favour."

There's no word yet on exactly when the store will be opened, or even if it will definitely get the go-ahead but, with the amount of foot-traffic in the area, it's likely Amazon will consider the store a risk worth taking.