The online retail giant is looking at the possibility of acquiring some Toys R Us locations as it expands its brick-and-mortar footprint across the country, Bloomberg reported. The stores could be used to showcase its Echo devices.
Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy last week. At the beginning of 2018, the chain had more than 800 stores before announcing in January that it would shutter 180 stores.
“Today marks the dawn of a new era at Toys R Us where we expect that the financial constraints that have held us back will be addressed in a lasting and effective way,” said Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer.
The possible interest comes as Amazon enters the brick-and-mortar game. The company purchased Whole Foods last year and is also opening bookstores. Its cashless convenience stores, Amazon Go, are also reportedly expanding in states across the U.S. in coming years.
So, how does Amazon Go work? Consumers use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products they want and walk out. No checkout. No lines.
The store’s technology uses computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning to automatically detect when products are taken or returned to the shelves and keep track of them in a virtual cart. Customers grab their items and go, and then their Amazon account is charged with the bill. The store will offer ready-to-go meals, grocery essentials and even locally made food.