Amazon gets in an Empire State of mind with its first store in Midtown New York

Amazon is set to open up its first store on West 34th Street in Midtown New York.

The store will be sited across from the Empire State Building and won’t be a traditional shop but instead will act as warehouse holding stock for local delivery, product returns and exchanges, and collection of online orders.

A report in the Wall Street Journal also says the store may be a showroom to showcase for Amazon products such as Kindle e-readers, the Fire phone or Fire TV set-top box.

Traditional retailers have long complained that Amazon has escaped the costs of retailing, such as expensive leases in prime shopping districts. Now Amazon is opening in one of the most expensive retail areas of NYC.

It could be that the store opening proves to be yet another of Amazon’s wide-ranging experiments and could be shut down quickly if business doesn’t go well, but if it does prosper, then we could see Amazon stores opening up elsewhere throughout the US.

The WSJ says the 12-story building on 34th Street, owned by Vornado Realty Trust, once housed an Ohrbach’s department store and now has Mango and Express stores at street level and it is a block away from Macy’s flagship store.