Once a threat to malls, Amazon now opens a store in Guilderland. Amazon 4-star is scheduled to open today at Crossgates Mall. I am told this is exciting news but I am not much of a shopper so why is everyone so pumped for this? Maybe it is because it's only the 2nd 4-star location in all of New York state? The only other New York location is in the SoHo district of Manhattan.

Maybe it's bragging rights like having the world's largest Walmart Supercenter located in Albany. When I first moved to the Capital Region I told everyone "back home" that our Walmart has an escalator just for the shopping carts!

So why open a physical store? Amazon's Director of Physical Stores, Drew Sheriff tells Times Union, "People love the opportunity to feel and touch products. One of the benefits of having a physical store is that we can bring these things to life for customers." The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019 on the flip from being a threat to malls to possibly saving them by being a tenant.

I thought Amazon was going to put brick and mortar stores and malls out of business by giving consumers the opportunity to find nearly anything you want online, have it shipped around the world in record time and sometimes not have to pay for that shipping. It seems like 2021 has a touch of 2020, everything we knew is now different.

I am not a fan of shopping so when I need to buy something I look for the easiest experience. I also like to support local business. Over the holidays I did a hybrid of shopping. I would say the vast majority of my purchases were made at local Capital Region stores like Wit's End in Clifton Park.

I did however use technology to my advantage by going to Target.com to locate an item and then pick it up in Niskayuna. I suppose anything to make shopping quicker and easier and if it brings a few jobs to the Capital Region I am all for it. The Amazon 4-star in Guilderland will feature top selling, customer favorites and you can do amazon.com returns there as well. That sounds easy to me.


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