New Delhi: Amazon plans to roll out more than 100 kiosks in malls across the country that will sell its devices such as the Kindle ebook reader, the Echo speaker and the Fire TV dongle by the end of the year. That could be a precursor to a broader entry into brick-and-mortar stores in India, two people familiar with Amazon’s plans said.
The US company first experimented with such kiosks two years ago in Bengaluru and has been operating four of them — two in the Karnataka capital and one each in Mumbai and Ahmedabad — for more than a year. Last week, Amazon opened its fifth kiosk in Logix Mall in Noida.
It’s looking for more space elsewhere, said mall operators.
“Right now they are looking for 70-80 sq ft kiosk space,” said the head of a prominent Delhi mall that’s in talks with Amazon.
India allows 100% foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.
“We do not speculate on our future roadmap, but we’re always looking at ways to provide the best experience to our customers,” an Amazon spokesperson told ET in an emailed response. “The Amazon Devices Kiosk gives customers a first-hand experience of the devices. Customers can walk up to the kiosk and take an assisted live demo of Kindle, Fire TV and Echo family of devices with the help of the store staff before purchasing devices. The store staff is also available to solve customer queries, pre and post purchase.”
A top mall executive said the Amazon kiosks will be run by third-party franchisees. Earlier this month, Amazon said it was closing more than 80 popup stores in US malls after years of trials with the concept.
Google had experimented with more than a dozen popup stores in malls in India including High Street Phoenix in Mumbai and Select Citywalk, Promenade, Mall of India in the Delhi-National Capital Region to showcase its Pixel 2 phones and educate consumers on its features.
Myntra, the online fashion arm of Walmart-owned Flipkart, operates various stores of Spanish fashion brand Mango as well as private brand Roadster.
Amazon had received government approval to sell locally produced and packaged food items through both offline and online channels in India in July 2017. However, it is yet to open any food-only brickand-mortar stores. Amazon Retail India Pvt Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US online retailer, is currently selling food items on Amazon.in.