Here’s What It’s Like to Shop at Columbus’ New Amazon Style Store

The Amazon Style store merges the experiences of online and in-person shopping. Pictured is the first Amazon Style store in Glendale, California; the look and layout are similar to the new Columbus location.

I don’t want to like the new Amazon Style store. I already harbor guilt over my family’s frequent use of Amazon.com rather than brick-and-mortar retailers. So the thought of venturing outside the house to potentially give Amazon founder and Dr. Evil lookalike Jeff Bezos even more of my money is about as enticing as cutting a check to the IRS.

Unfortunately, the experience is kind of fun.

Amazon Style, which opened at Easton Town Center in October and is only the second such store in the country (California got the first one), is a different kind of fashion retailer. Upon entering, an employee gives me the rundown: All the products on the showroom floor are display items featuring unique QR codes that shoppers can scan with their phones. Links open in the Amazon app or a browser, which displays the item’s available colors and sizes. After making a selection, you can send it to the pickup counter or a fitting room. And if the right size isn’t available in-store, never fear; Amazon just so happens to have an online store.

Customers scan QR codes on display items and choose a size; items can be sent to the pickup counter or a fitting room. Pictured is a display from the Amazon Style store in Glendale, California.

In a bright, high-ceilinged space dominated by stark white and teeming with employees, Amazon Style features a range of brands, including Calvin Klein, Levi’s, Volcom, Columbia Sportswear, Lucky and its own brands: Amazon Essentials—a no-frills, budget-friendly collection (think $14 flannel shirts)—and Amazon Aware, a mid-range line so named for its professed eco-friendly focus. The store also carries “premium” fashion brands like Vince (think $160 flannels), John Varvatos, Joie, Theory and others.

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