A couple years back the head of Amazon operations in Germany, Ralf Kleber, hinted that the retailer might open brick-and-mortar stores in Berlin.
Nothing has come of those hints (so far) but in a recent interview suggests that Amazon’s plans have not progressed over the past 24 months.
“That’s not a question of whether, but of when,” Kleber said. “Customers love diversity online and in traditional retailing, which still accounts for 90 to 95 percent of sales in Germany, and we’ll never forget what the customer wants.”
You should not read too much into this; it has the feel of an admission dragged out of Kleber after an hour of questioning, and then published as a scoop for its clickbait value. This article only has a single other sentence quoting Kleber, which means that the reporter left out almost everything he said, and without that context we don’t really know what the above quote really means.
Amazon currently operates 13 bookstores in the US as well as over 4 dozen permanently installed “pop-up” stores where they sell electronics, and numerous service centers (most of which are located on or near college campuses). Amazon also acquired the Whole Foods supermarket chain last year.
It is unknown at this time whether Amazon’s European stores, should they ever launch, will fall in the same categories as the US retail operations or serve a new purpose.