, Inc. (AMZN)  

Amazon Plans Onslaught of Pop-Ups to Ramp-Up Retail Presence

Rebecca McClay | FlashRatings | Monday, September 12, 2016 7:08 PM EDT Inc. (AMZN) is banking on a slate of new pop-up stores to help it reach consumers through a variety of channels with the goal to funnel business back to its online store, Business Insider reports, citing a “source familiar with the matter.” Analysts, generally bullish on the stock, did not react directly to the report.

Amazon, which has not officially commented on the plans, will launch dozens more pop-up stores in U.S. malls over the next year, increasing its ranks to up to 100 shops from the 21 pop-ups currently in operation. The kiosk-like stores, which range from roughly 300 to 500 square-feet in the middle of malls, carry Amazon products like Kindle e-reader, Echo speakers, Fire Tablets and Fire TV as well as accessories.

Amazon expects to have about 30 pop-ups stores by the end of this year, with dozens more in 2017. "Lowering the barriers to trial and letting people feel how things actually work is a great way to start," Business Insider’s source said.

Five analysts have issued ratings on Amazon over the last 30 days with 100% of them being positive and with a median price target of $900, or a 17% upside to recent trading prices.

Among them, MKM Partners last week reiterated a “buy” rating with a $995 price target, noting the strength of Amazon’s diverse business lines. “AMZN is outperforming by a wide margin, growing at well over 10 times the industry [average],” MKM Partners said in a Sept. 9 note. “We think the addressable market could more than double over several years with autos, business supplies and food delivery.”

The pop-up shops are a separate endeavor from Amazon’s physical bookstores, which also aim to get more devices into consumers’ hands so that they would turn to the online shopping site. In fact, Amazon’s pop-ups are run by its “devices team” not its “retail team” that opens bookstores.