Extending its retal push, Amazon is opening a store in New York City on Thursday that only sells products that have earned at least a 4-star average from its customers, top sellers, or is a new and trending product on Amazon.com.
The concept parallels Amazon’s bookstores, which largely feature books that are well-reviewed by customers, and use shelf tags to display the average review score and sometimes feature excerpts from the reviews. The 4-Star store sports electronic tags with each item that update dynamically to provide an average of stars awarded in reviews and the total number of reviews.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment beyond the announcement posted on its Web site.
The company didn’t provide a way to find out what’s for sale, ostensibly relying on the serendipity of people wandering in to see top-rated products across a wide range of categories, as the company offers at its site.
Preview photos show an eclectic range, from the talking Chewbacca mask (made famous by “Chewbacca mom”), a toy cash register, the keto diet book Ketotarian, Philips Hue bulbs and other smart home appliances (that work with Amazon Alexa, naturally). And, of course, Kindles, Echos, and other Amazon goods—which the firm notes have average reviews far above 4.0.
As with other retail operations, Amazon provides an incentive for subscribers to its $119 a year Prime membership to shop at the 4-Star store. Prime members pay the Amazon.com online price when shopping at the store, while other customers will pay a list price.
Amazon’s retail presence has continued to grow with a diverse mix of outlets. The company now operates 17 brick-and-mortar bookstores, Amazon Fresh grocery pickup locations, pop-up stores it locates in shopping malls, and four Amazon Go grab-and-leave bodegas. In 2017, Amazon acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain, which currently operates 470 locations.