Amazon Launches Inauguration Store

amazon.comForget about vacuuming up pine needles. It's time to get started on the next retail countdown, with launching a special site for the upcoming presidential inauguration. The site, opening as the capital continues to gear up, is obviously selling Obama-themed paraphernalia, from t-shirts and collectibles to iPods etched in his image and "DeadHeads for Obama" buttons.

But it also links users to party clothes for the dozens of official and unofficial inauguration balls, as well as special deals on everything from adult Uncle Sam costumes to savings on CDs from such artists as Aretha Franklin (she will be performing at the swearing-in ceremony) and Yo-Yo Ma (him, too).

For the 12,000 people marching in the parade, the 240,000 with printed tickets entitling them to get near the stage in front of the Capitol, or the millions who are expected to throng the city, there are links to such inauguration essentials as warm-weather clothing (think fur-trapper hats) and spy-style hardware, like a Secret Service style throat microphones.



"A lot of people will be participating in the upcoming inauguration, whether they are planning to attend or host a party at home," the company says in its release announcing the site. "We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to prepare for the historic event."

At this point, it would be hard to overestimate the magnitude of the Jan. 20 event, with experts forecasting it may be the biggest single gathering of people in America's history. Attendance predictions range from three to five million, surpassing the record set back in 1965, when 1.2 million flocked to see Lyndon B. Johnson's swearing-in. Giant TV screens will be erected around the National Mall, which is expected to be filled with at least 1 million.

Hotels have been booked for months, airlines are adding flights, and cell phone companies are erecting new sites to handle the anticipated flood of calls, texts, pictures and videos attendees will likely send. Bars and restaurants are scheduled to be open around the clock from Jan. 17 to Jan. 21, and allowed to sell booze until 5 a.m.

1 comment about "Amazon Launches Inauguration Store ".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Brian Hayashi from ConnectMe 360, January 6, 2009 at 12:41 p.m.

    This trend actually started with stodgy old-fashioned malls. I'd argue that the first pop-up stores were actually sponsored by makeup companies in department stores.

    As time went on, malls started seeing revenue potential from the kiosks in the mall common areas. These carts were able to capitalize on niche retail opportunities with a well-defined window of opportunity. For example, Calendar & Company has been selling calendars at these kiosks from late October to the end of December for years.

    I think the real news is that Amazon is demonstrating thought leadership in popup retail opportunities.

    For example, Bartle Bogle's Zag division just launched, an Oprah Magazine-esque mashup of the new Madame President, commerce, and media. Amazon's infrastructure will make it easier than ever for marketers to create short term, highly targeted commerce engines whole lifetime is solely dependent on the news of the day.

    For more about the intersection of retail, mobile and social media, visit

Next story loading loading..