PALM BEACH GARDENS — Beginning Wednesday, local Amazon customers could buy books, toys, kitchen gadgets and electronics without needing an Internet connection.
The Seattle-based digital sales behemoth opened its first general merchandise store in Florida at The Gardens Mall. Doors opened at 11 a.m.
The 4,500-square-foot Amazon 4-star store will carry top-rated products sold by Amazon that earned four stars or more.
Products include consumer electronics, toys, games, books, kitchen and other home goods. Many items are top sellers or popular sellers in a particular area, while others are new and trending on amazon.com.
The store also serves as a platform for Amazon’s own tech devices, including its smart home accessories such as Alexa.
“You can really trust that everything in this store is something that our customers love,” said Drew Sheriff, director of Amazon Physical Stores.
All products in Amazon 4-star stores are selected by a team of curators who look at pre-orders, sales, trends, customer reviews and ratings, Sheriff said.
Each store carries between 2,000 and 3,000 products that are organized by department, trends or daily deals, and are rotated regularly.
The most popular items vary by location and season, Sheriff said, but customers tend to gravitate toward kitchen gadgets as well as Amazon devices such as the Echo Dot and Fire TV stick.
“Those are very popular, especially around the holiday season,” Sheriff said. “There’s always a lot of shopping lists folks that are adding Amazon devices. But we also sell a great range of kitchen tools. Instant Pot is almost always a best-seller, and there are always gadgets for blenders and air fryers.”
If a customer wants to look up a review for a particular product, Amazon 4-star stores make that process simple. Included throughout each store are customer review cards.
The cards give a little more information about the product and why people love it, Sheriff said.
“It’s a way of helping people browse,” he said. “We know that folks like to look at both the star counts and customer reviews in making purchase decisions, and we have both of those things now available.”
Stores also feature digital price tags alongside every product that show the price and Amazon Prime price, as well as Prime member savings, average star rating and the total number of reviews a product has received.
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.
Price tags are updated in real time as prices change, Sheriff said.
Amazon opened its first 4-star store in New York City two years ago, and now operates 22 stores in 14 states.
Two other stores are planned for Florida, including one at the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach, and the other at The Mall at Millenia in Orlando.
The Gardens Mall location takes over the space formerly occupied by Mayors Jewelry on the lower level near Nordstrom. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
“We’re super excited to open tomorrow and welcome the community,” Sheriff said Tuesday. “We hope everyone gets the chance to swing by. Amazon 4-star is a pretty unique offering. It’s a direct reflection of our customers – what they’re buying, what they’re loving – and we only really carry the most-loved products in our stores, so we hope folks can come by and find the products they really love.”