Amazon said to be exploring creation of VR and AR homeware stores

Amazon said to be exploring creation of VR and AR homeware stores

Amazon is reportedly exploring the possibility of bringing augmented or virtual reality in-store to allow consumers to visualize what products will look like in their homes.

According to the New York Times the tech giant is looking to open brick-and-mortar stores to sell home appliances and furniture. Citing a "person briefed on the discussions" the Times claimed that the Seattle-based giant is considering using VR or AR to help customers picture what furniture will look like in situ.

The source has said the shops will have a heavy emphasis on Amazon devices and services like the company's Prime Streaming service and smart speaker Echo.

The concept of bringing VR into a retail environment has been spearheaded by retailers like Lowe's in the US, which in some stores makes use of HTC's Vive headset to show customers how to use its products for home improvements.

At the start of this year Amazon revealed it was to open its first physical bookstore in New York, having already opened one in Seattle.

Speaking on the retailer's rumoured foray into retail VR and AR, Richard Corps, co-founder and managing director at UK based AR software company Ads Reality said: "If this is implemented well, it could have a dramatic impact on the traditional furniture retailers. Amazon needs to ensure these new stores are very experiential otherwise the reason to visit disappears as such visualisation tools can be seen at home using your mobile.

"Amazon is moving fast and other retailers need to invest in innovation to prevent them being left behind," he added.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. Based in London, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

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