CivicScience | Cross-Generational Enthusiasm for Mall-Edition Amazon Is High

General, Retail

Cross-Generational Enthusiasm for Mall-Edition Amazon Is High

Image Credit: Amazon 4-star: Scottsdale Fashion Square (amazon.com)

In an upside-down 2020, it’s probably not all that surprising that the brick-and-mortar killer – Amazon – is branching out into … brick and mortar. Specifically, with their Amazon 4-star stores, 15 of which are already up and running, with another 16 in the pipeline. Even more retro – the stores are located predominantly inside malls.

So the big question: Who’s interested in checking out and physically handling top-rated products from across the retail spectrum? The answers are instructive.

For starters, a little more than one-in-six Americans say they’re “very likely” to check out the Amazon 4-star experience should one open up in their area. When coupled with those who say they’re at least ‘somewhat likely’ to check out a 4-star store, the data show more than half of the country being favorable to the concept overall.

Interestingly, the numbers don’t especially pop off the page when looking at people who have a favorable view of the online retail giant. Americans who have a favorable view of shopping on Amazon.com are only slightly more likely to check out the 4-star stores than the average adult.

Even more noteworthy: Having a Prime membership doesn’t move the needle much, although it is notable that over 30% of non-Amazon.com account holders say they’re interested in checking out the 4-star stores. Perhaps Amazon’s play here isn’t to dominate brick-and-mortar, but instead to lure in those who have thus far resisted the siren song from Seattle.

Another retail takeaway: While the curated, 4-star stores are not technically in direct competition with Target and Walmart, it’s certainly worth noting more than half of Target and Walmart fans are interested in seeing what’s doing with Amazon’s stores.

Looking at some top-level numbers, women are slightly more interested than men in the Amazon 4-star store experience.

Generationally speaking, the group most psyched to go to the mall to shop a 4-star store is – perhaps unsurprisingly – the 35-54 age range, mostly consisting of Gen Xers who came of age in malls. (Free tip for Bezos and Co.: Drop an Orange Julius franchise in each of these stores, and watch profits soar.)

Income-wise, there’s definitely a sweet spot here, as households with incomes in the $75,000 to $125,000 range are significantly more jazzed for the 4-star experience. There is a whiff of affordable luxury here.

Here’s a metric that plays right into Amazon’s hands: People who say social media influences their purchasing decisions to some degree are more than 20% more likely to say they’re interested in checking out the 4-star stores.

And lastly – and really encouraging for the 4-star notion in general – people who always seek out online reviews for products they’re interested in are nearly twice as likely to be interested in the Amazon stores than people who never seek out reviews.

Amazon’s 4-star stores concept is something new to retail. Curated, driven by data, and constantly updating will be the hallmarks of the experiment. Will it prove to be a success? Better question: Who thinks betting against Amazon is a good idea?

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