Amazon to open new ‘themed’ pop-up store at Seattle HQ in latest physical retail expansion

Amazon Pop Up wall covering obscures the store. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Amazon is opening another retail store at its Seattle headquarters, an expansion of a new concept that has flown under the radar compared to some of the tech giant’s other brick-and-mortar initiatives.

A window covering spotted by GeekWire this week says an “Amazon Pop Up” will open soon at a previously vacant retail space at 2105 Westlake Ave. It’s next door to the new Amazon 4-star location, at the base of one of the tech giant’s new high-rise office buildings.

The Seattle location will be the sixth in a new generation of Amazon Pop Up stores, joining locations in Las Vegas and the suburbs of Los Angeles, Denver, Houston and Chicago. The website for the company’s retail stores calls the new Pop Up concept “a physical extension of,” with inventory regularly swapped out as part of rotating themes.

The Las Vegas location is focused on cameras, for example, and other stores offer a Food Network theme. Previous themes include Barbie’s 50th Anniversary, Marvel’s Avengers, Fisher Price ‘Let’s Be Kids’, an Audible reading room, Holiday Toy List selections from Disney and more.

Responding to our inquiry, the company confirmed the new Seattle store but didn’t say when it would open.

Last year, Amazon shuttered nearly 90 stores in malls across the U.S. that showcased the company’s devices under the Pop Up name. Soon after that, the company quietly started promoting the new concept, then called Presented by Amazon. The new Pop Up stores, the company says, are not a revival of the shuttered device kiosks. The themed stores took over the Pop Up name in November 2019.

“We’re excited to be opening an Amazon Pop Up location in Seattle, and are currently hiring,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “Stay tuned for additional details down the road.”

The Amazon 4-star store next door. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

The Pop Ups are part of Amazon’s ever-expanding network of physical stores. According to the tech giant’s brick-and-mortar website, the company has 26 Amazon Go locations that are open, coming soon or being renovated, 22 Amazon Books stores, 18 Amazon 4-star locations, six Amazon Pop Ups and two AmazonFresh Pickup facilities. Plus, there’s the network of Whole Foods stores and a new grocery concept set to debut in the Los Angeles area.

Despite its growing brick-and-mortar portfolio, Amazon’s retail stores remain a small piece of the overall business. Revenue from physical stores only made up roughly 6 percent of the company’s $70 billion in total revenue in the most recent quarter.

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