Amazon is reportedly eying an expansion into a new department: department stores.
Amazon is planning to "open several large physical retail locations in the U.S. that will operate akin to department stores," The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Among the first of these stores will reportedly be opened in Ohio and California. According to the report, while department stores are typically about 100,000 square feet, Amazon's stores will be smaller at about 30,000 square feet.
While the Journal says it isn't clear what brands Amazon plans to offer, the stores are expected to include the company's own private-label goods. This would come after Amazon previously opened physical locations including book stores and grocery stores, and it purchased Whole Foods in 2017. Amazon may particularly be looking to allow customers to try items, including apparel, before purchasing them, the Journal writes, and it reportedly approached apparel brands about the idea of opening "large-scale stores" two years ago.
Kohl's and Macy's on Thursday both reported "upbeat" earnings reports, according to CNBC, though the Journal notes that foot traffic at U.S. retail stores hasn't returned to 2019 levels. The report on Amazon's plans for department stores "sent a shudder through retail stocks," Bloomberg writes, offering "a signal that new challenges await in the beleaguered sector."