Amazon has officially opened the doors on its latest “4-star” retail location in Denver, Colorado. This week’s unveiling comes just over a month after Amazon opened its first storefront in SoHo. It’s been a busy 2018 for the online giant as it’s increased its presence in the brick and mortar retail space after years focused solely on e-commerce.

While more brands are moving away from costly storefronts, Amazon is continuing to make a significant investment in this space: first with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and now its expanding 4-star and Go locations. So what exactly is Amazon up to? Head below for more.

Amazon 4-star opens in Denver, Colorado

Amazon’s 4-star retail locations feature some of the most top-rated products on its online storefront. After introducing its first location in the SoHo neighborhood of New York, Amazon is back again this week with another spot in Denver.

This move comes after Amazon has been introducing more and more traditional retail locations. Just a few weeks back, it unveiled another Go autonomous grocery store in San Francisco. Now, Amazon is making even more in-roads in the brick and mortar space. In fact, rumors are swirling that Amazon will open yet another 4-star location in Berkeley, California, perhaps by the end of the year.

Amazon 4-star Store

Is Amazon moving to brick and mortar?

Well yes…and obviously no. Online retail will always be Amazon’s bread and butter. But its continued focus on expanding into other areas, specifically groceries with Whole Foods, proves that it sees itself as more than just an online seller.

Amazon has significant financial means and its coffers are far from empty. While we don’t expect a 4-star store to pop-up in every metropolitan area in the United States, it makes sense for Amazon to continue to pick and choose its spots across the country.

I visited the first Go autonomous grocery store last summer. While the novelty of a cashier-less experience was indeed fun, my real joy came from the ease at which I was able to move in and out of the store. It was easy to find what I needed and quickly move on to the next thing. Current retail stores, be it gas stations or grocers, do not enjoy this luxury. There are lines, interactions, and problems. Amazon is looking to remedy all of those. For better or worse, it appears that Amazon is making significant in-roads into our retail lives in more ways than ever before…so don’t plan on these Bezos-driven ambitions to cool any time soon.

Lead image via Patrick Tomasso/Unsplash; Flickr user Geoffrey Gallaway

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