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Brief Published: 13 Nov 2017

Amazon Explores Asian Alcohol Opportunity Via Tokyo Pop-Up

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Understanding that even the most powerful e-tailers can benefit from physical touchpoints to retain consumer hearts and minds, Amazon is re-exploring the pop-up scene with a premium bar in Tokyo.

Based in Ginza – Tokyo’s most upscale shopping, dining and entertainment district – Amazon Bar aims to both familiarise Japanese drinkers with the brand’s online offer and push a more premium perception of itself (see Amazon Repositions Via Dazed Mag for more on how it’s tackling this with fashion).

Showcasing 5,000+ bottles of liquor, wine, beer and sake, the 78-seat bar offers an intimate opportunity to explore the expansive portfolio of alcoholic products sold on Amazon’s Japanese e-commerce site. Subtly underscoring the digital/physical overlap, visitors use tablets at the bar to obtain drinks. Rather than ordering from a menu, they receive recommendations based on questions concerning their alcoholic preferences and mood (for more on ‘mood’ retailing, see Reflexive Retail: Live, Emotional & On-Demand).

It’s not the first time Amazon has targeted Japanese drinkers. In 2016, it launched a free sommelier phone-call service delivering speedy wine suggestions to suit both budget and food. As the sixth largest consumer of alcohol in the world (Statista, 2017), Japan represents a major opportunity for brands – especially with wine drinking among Japanese women rising 4.5% in the past six years (Euromonitor, 2017).

US payment-processing tech company Square has also opened a store to help communicate its relatively intangible services – see Square’s Support-Centric Store for more.

See also Dexterous Store Design, Pop-Ups Evolve: Tech & Social Media and Alcohol Trends 2017: Imbibe Live.