Reports indicate that online retail giant Amazon is considering acquiring some Toys “R” Us locations. According to the sources Amazon has no interest in the bankrupt toy retailer’s brand but only wants to use the spaces which are soon going to be vacant for its own operations. If the e-commerce goes ahead and acquires the locations Amazon will significantly increase its brick-and-mortar outlets. Last year Amazon acquired Whole Foods Market, a grocer with over 450 locations. Additionally Amazon has opened bookstores as well as a cashier-free outlet.
With the new brick-and-mortar stores Amazon would have more outlets from which to showcase its products such as the Echo devices which are operated using the Alexa digital assistant. The online retail giant considers voice to be the next big thing in technology with regards to how people interact with devices. The benefits of devices such as the Echo are however best demonstrated in traditional outlets rather than online.
Additionally more brick-and-mortar outlets would allow Amazon to place its inventory close to shoppers and this would mean faster deliveries for online orders. This is especially so for grocery deliveries. At the moment Amazon is working on a plan to offer free deliveries that will be done in under two hours in four U.S. cities and this includes Cincinnati and Dallas.
However reaching a deal is not guaranteed. Three years ago the online retail giant held talks with a view to purchasing some locations belonging to RadioShack after the electronics retailer had filed for bankruptcy but the deliberations went nowhere.
Toys “R” Us may also get to exist in some form. While the bankruptcy filing was announced last year in September, the toys retailer also disclosed last week that it is shutting down its operations in the United States. Its Canadian division as well as its operations across the globe are however up for sale. The Canadian unit is in a better shape financially compared to the U.S. business and the toys retailer is hoping an interested party will show up.
If this happens, the buyer could be in a position to operate some store in the United States from Canada. While Toys “R” Us has already begun liquidating some of its locations in the United States, some of its best stores numbering about 200 will remain for the next couple of weeks. One of the interested parties is a consortium led by MGA Entertainment’s founder, Isaac Larian. MGA Entertainment is a toymaker.