Lost in all of the hullabaloo about the New York Mets' tone deaf decision to lease a Citi Field storefront to Amway was any kind of explanation regarding what exactly is inside of an Amway store. What use does a company that makes its profits via the Sisyphean efforts of Independent Business Owners have for a retail location? Luckily, Howard Megdal of Sports On Earth was willing to take a field trip to the Citi Field Amway, and he found himself in a very strange place.
Upon entering the Amway storefront, one is immediately confronted with a massive array of colors, coming from various kinds of energy drinks at what looks like a juice bar, stools and all. Just step up and order a drink ... or don't, because that's not how this works. Amway's program involves I.B.O.s selling to you directly. Had it opened up a conventional store, Amway would be competing with its own customers. Even the vending machine, which had water and Mountain Dew, among other drinks, was completely empty of any XS, the Amway energy drink, or any other Amway beverage.
In addition to the juice bar that doesn't sell juice, Megdal was shown a demonstration of a weird skincare diagnostic product (F.A.C.E.S. Artistry Skincare Recommender), and a cleaning product that can remove wine stains from dollar bills. Neat!
Megdal did eventually make it to the Product and Registration Room, which sounds like something that one would find inside of a Scientology center. But he was at least able to buy things there. Sort of:
Three iPads sat along the far wall; a potential consumer had two choices. If I wanted one of the few products in the retail room, I could simply go onto Amway.com, fully fill out a form with all of my information and then make a purchase. Or, if the product wasn't in the retail room, I would still need to fill out all of my information, which would then be sent to an I.B.O., who would then complete the purchase. When I asked Nancy if anyone had purchased anything yet in the retail room (officially called the Product and Registration Room), I was told that no one had. Not a single product? No.
Be sure to check out the whole story. And get ready to enjoy your weird store, Mets fans.