The online giant isn’t interested in maintaining the Toys R Us brand, but has considered using the soon-to-be-vacant spaces for its own purposes, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
Amazon has looked at the possibility of expanding its retail footprint by acquiring some locations from bankrupt Toys R Us, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
The online giant isn’t interested in maintaining the Toys R Us brand, but has considered using the soon-to-be-vacant spaces for its own purposes, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private.
Such a move would let Amazon quickly expand its brick-and-mortar presence, coming on the heels of buying Whole Foods Market and its more than 450 locations last year. The Seattle-based company also has opened its own line of bookstores and a convenience-store concept.
Additional stores would give Amazon space to showcase its popular Echo line of devices, which run on the Alexa voice-activated platform. Amazon sees voice as the next interface for people to access technology — supplanting computer mice and touch screens — and the benefits may be easier to demonstrate in a real-world setting.
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A bigger network of stores also would put inventory closer to where shoppers live, potentially enabling quick delivery to e-commerce customers.
Still, the company is under little pressure to hammer out a deal and deliberations may lead nowhere. In 2015, Amazon held discussions about acquiring some RadioShack locations around the time of the electronics retailer’s bankruptcy filing, people familiar with the matter said. Nothing came of the talks.
Toys R Us, which filed for bankruptcy protection in September, announced plans to shut down its U.S. operations last week.