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Amazon’s new 4-star store opens in Seattle

It was a “star-studded” grand opening at Amazon’s new brick and mortar storefront in South Lake Union on Thursday. Every product in the new Amazon store is rated 4 stars or more on the company’s website, is a top seller, or is considered “new and trending.”

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Curious crowds poured in near Amazon headquarters, at the corner of Lenora and Westlake, to explore the real-life version of the virtual store. Like Amazon’s website, it promotes its products by categories.

However, instead of clicking through to an online banner, customers see categories showcased on tables and wall displays, like “Summer Fun: Our Picks from the Summer Toy List” and “New Releases in Games and Toys.”

There is even a “Trending Around Seattle” table, which includes a pour-over coffee maker, a volleyball, eco-friendly lunch containers, and the popular role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons.

Each item has a digital price tag and a description that includes its online star rating. Some even feature quotes from positive user reviews.

“The idea is that customers know, when they come into this store, any product they select is already going to be highly rated, and beloved by customers like them,” said Amazon spokeswoman Jeanine Takala.

“Highly rated,” by Amazon standards means a lot of reviews. Collectively, the items in the store have garnered more than 2.6 million 5-star reviews, and the average rating for inventory is 4.34 stars.

In a unique twist to traditional in-store shopping, the prices vary throughout the day. Each item’s digital price tag is synced to reflect any fluctuations in price that occur on the website.

It is designed to help customers discover new products, and so far, it seems to be working. One shopper, Tyler Oleski, had his hands full of boxes at the opening.

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“My expectations were blown away,” he said. “I’m finding things I didn’t know I needed.”

Such as?

“… a surge protector with built-in USB charging, and a portable dust buster.”

This is Amazon’s fourth 4-star store. It follows similar models in New York and California.

Written by Meili Cady

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