Amazon is to open its first physical shop in time for Christmas, according to news reports.
The store, in Manhattan, New York, will be a revolutionary step in the online retailer's aim to be the one-stop shop for consumers.
The 7 West 34th Street location, opposite the Empire State Building, which attracts more than 4m people a year, would act as a mini-warehouse but also cater for same-day deliveries, product exchanges and customers picking up orders placed online, the Wall Street Journal reported. Amazon may also use the store to showcase products such as its Kindle e-reader, Fire smartphone and Fire TV set-top box.
Amazon did not return calls for comment.
The retailer has considered opening a physical store a number of times in the past, even scouting locations in Seattle, where the business is headquartered.
The New York shop is regarded as an experiment and a marketing tool, but Amazon is expected to open stores in other US cities if it is successful.
The move marks a major departure for Amazon, which has developed into a $146bn powerhouse by developing a world-class logistics operation, where all products are stored behind the scenes. Chief executive Jeff Bezos started out as a book retailer perfecting its slick delivery system before growing its range to everything from nappies to groceries, generating $15.7bn of revenues in the last quarter. However, the business, established in 1995, made a $7m loss, as it squeezed margins and sacrificed profitability in favour of gobbling up market share.
Earlier this year the US tech giant started an online store for wearable technology in the UK, offering more than 100 wearable devices including activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and wearable cameras, from brands such as Sony, Samsung, Garmin and GoPro.