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Furthering Its Goal to Get Physical, Amazon to Open West Coast Pop-Up Shops

If you live in San Francisco or Sacramento, Amazon's about to show off its struggling line of gadgets -- tablets, e-readers and its inaugural smartphone -- at holiday pop-up shops in a mall near you.  

The Seattle-anchored ecommerce giant today confirmed that it will open “pop-up” retail shops in both California cities. The branded electronics seasonal sales push echoes a similar pop-up shop campaign Amazon launched last year in a handful of malls ahead of the holidays. 

Related: Report: Amazon to Open First-Ever Physical Store

Officially first up for an all-things-Amazon pop-up is the City by the Bay. The company says it will open a pop-up kiosk there on Oct. 22. The temporary holiday location will be situated in the nine-story Westfield San Francisco Centre mall on Market and Fifth streets. Last year around this time, in the same swanky mall, Amazon positioned a modest pop-up booth outside of a Microsoft store where shoppers tested out the Kindle's screen brightness in different simulated lighting settings. 

It’s not yet known where the temporary Sacramento shop will pop up, nor for how long both short-term locations will remain open. Likely only for a couple of weeks, we suspect, or at least long enough to line more than a few festive stockings, boxes and bags with Amazon-branded gadgets and goodies.   

“We’re excited to open new pop-up kiosks in San Francisco and Sacramento in time for the holidays so that customers can try out our new devices,” an Amazon spokesperson told today. “The team is moving incredibly quickly – already this year we’ve launched Fire TV, Fire phone, new Fire tablets, new Kindle e-readers, and a bunch of new features and services. While customers can already see our products online and at retailers like Best Buy and Staples, we wanted to provide another option to try out our full line-up leading into the holidays.”

Related: 5 Ways Your Small Business Can Topple Amazon This Holiday Season

The 20-year-old company isn’t tooting its horn so loudly -- or at all, actually -- about its widely rumored plans to open its first-ever permanent brick-and-mortar store in the heart of New York City. Last week the The Wall Street Journal reported the "mini-warehouse"-style store will launch in time for the holiday season on at 7 West 34th Street, across from the Empire State Building on the “same busy street as Macy’s Inc.’s flagship store.” Amazon has remained hush about its ambitions. 

Unlike Amazon's coming West Coast pop-ups, its future midtown Manhattan location will reportedly be a full-scale retail store that won't just be open for a limited time. Both types of locations, short-term and permanent, are part of Amazon's budding efforts to get physical, to evolve beyond its disruptive -- and long profitless -- online-only offering. 

Related: Data Driven: What Amazon's Jeff Bezos Taught Me About Running a Company

Edition: November 2016

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