The online shopping behemoth outpaced Walmart earlier this week in total sales to become the largest retailer outside of China.
The first department store locations will reportedly be opened in California and Ohio. They are thought to be modelled on Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom and sell various household items including clothes and electronics.
Amazon has already opened brick and mortar stores, mainly in urban areas. Customers can purchase items without checking out as long as they have an Amazon Prime subscription.
Along with the Amazon brand stores, Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, previously purchased the upmarket supermarket chain Whole Foods.
Amazon’s foray into department stores comes as traditional brick-and-mortar stores struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. According to The Washington Post, 200 departments stores closed in the last year. Another 800, roughly 50 per cent, are forecast to close by 2025.
However, some analysts such as John Idol, the CEO of Michael Kors parent company Capri Holdings, said “People are absolutely returning and shopping in department stores,” after the pandemic, according to reporting from The Guardian.
The Independent reached out to Amazon for comment.