There’s been a lot of chatter in recent days about Amazon.com exploring the idea of opening a boutique-style retail store in Seattle. But, as it turns out, one Amazon.com unit is already operating in the real world and it is now considering more brick-and-mortar stores to make a deeper connection with customers.
Quidsi, the operator of Diapers.com, YoYo.com and Wag.com, already operates a cosmetics store in New York. And co-founder Vinit Bharara tells Reuters that additional stores could be established, noting that “customers want more of an experience of touching and feeling the product.”
Bharara said that the unit of Amazon.com could potentially open stories in other categories. Quidsi, for example, just opened a new online retail store called Casa.com with more than 35,000 home decor products. It also operates Wag.com, a recently-launched site for pet products, and YoYo.com, an online toy store. Rumors also recently circulated that Quidsi was considering opening an online sporting goods store.
Amazon bought Quidsi in 2010 for about $500 million, and since then the New Jersey-based unit has been expanding into a variety of niche lines. Quidsi CEO Marc Lore tells The Wall Street Journal that Amazon.com has taken a hands-off approach since the acquisition, noting that “we have enough oversight to get resources and capital to make our vision happen, but not too much so that it stifles.”
That’s a similar approach to what Amazon has done with Zappos, the online shoe retailer which operates autonomously out of Nevada.