Amazon is expanding its brick-and-mortar retail presence with a new 4-Star location in Boston and add another Amazon Books location in Nashville, according to Geekwire.
Amazon’s 4-star stores sells products that average at least four out of five stars on Amazon’s website, or are new or trending.
In total, Amazon will now operate five 4-Star stores and 19 Amazon Books stores, in addition about a dozen Amazon Go convenience stores.
Amazon seems to be strategically expanding its proprietary retail footprint outside of its more than 500 Whole Foods stores.
In Q2 2019, Amazon’s online retail sales hit $31 billion, representing 16% annual growth — the company’s best quarter growth-wise since Q4 2017.
But over much of the past year and a half, Amazon’s online retail sales growth has remained largely stagnant, hovering between 11% and 14% on a constant currency basis. According to Business Insider, this could be a result of macroeconomic changes, brand saturation, or both, but if the trend continues, it may force Amazon to look to new segments to expand.
Because physical retail is such a large segment, there’s plenty of room to grow. Amazon’s physical stores segment incurred just $4.3 billion in sales in Q2 2019, growing just 1% year-over-year.
Though e-commerce is growing rapidly, according to Business Insider, physical retail still comprises nearly 90% of overall retail sales in the U.S.