This week Amazon opened its second 4 Star by Amazon store (the first is in New York City) at the Park Meadows shopping center in Lone Tree, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. It’s interesting to note that Denver got its Amazon 4 Star store even before tony Berkeley, California, which is slated for the third 4 Star store in the near future. (List of Amazon 4-Star store locations below.)
It’s also interesting to note that both the Colorado and soon-to-be opened California stores are in the same locations as Apple stores, bringing the two competitors directly head-to-head.
The aptly named 4 Star Amazon stores (the stores feature items that are ranked 4 stars and above in Amazon reviews) are not Amazon’s first forays into brick & mortar stores, but they are certainly the most comprehensive.
The Amazon 4-Star Store in Park Meadows, Lone Tree, Colorado near Denver
In the past, Amazon has opened convenience stores, cashierless convenience stores, and acquired Whole Foods, where they offer discounts for Prime members, and a 5% rebate on purchases with the Amazon Visa. Amazon has also opened their own brick and mortar book stores.
However, the Amazon 4-Star stores are a whole new level of shopping experience. It’s like walking through the pages of the Amazon website, only you can actually touch and experience the items before you buy them.
In fact, that’s exactly the plan. Says Amazon on their Amazon 4-Star stores page, “We’ve designed our stores around our customers – what they’re buying and what they’re loving. We’ve used customer ratings, reviews, and sales data from the hundreds millions (sic) of products online to curate our store with features like “Most-Wished-For” and “Frequently Bought Together.” These features, along with customer review cards that have quotes from actual customer reviews, make it fun and easy for customers to discover great products.”
One of the experiences that Amazon touts for their 4 Star stores is the ability to actually play with Kindles, Echos, and other Amazon devices before buying it. And Amazon sales associates are on-hand to answer questions about the devices.
Perhaps most interesting, however, and little-covered in the press, is the fact that there are two different prices for every item: the regular (market?) price, and the price that Amazon Prime customers pay – or, what Amazon is calling, the “Amazon.com price”.
“Amazon 4-star is open to all customers,” says Amazon. “Prime members pay the Amazon.com price in store (sic). Customers who aren’t already Prime members can sign up for a free 30-day trial and instantly receive the Amazon.com price in store (sic).”
This is a shrewd move on the part of Amazon, opening in-person stores just before the shoppingest holidays. We’re betting that they will wish they’d opened more before the 2018 shopping season, and we have to think that by the end of 2019 there will be several more. For now, here is a list of the current (or soon-to-be-open) locations.
List of Amazon 4-Star Store Locations
8401 South Park Meadows Center Dr.
Lone Tree, CO 80124
New York (Manhattan), New York
72 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Berkeley (Bay area), California
1787 Fourth St
Berkeley, CA 94710
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