That may not be the name, but according to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, expect to see brick-and-mortar Amazon grocery stores by the end of the year. Leases have also been signed for locations including San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
After two decades of upending the retail industry by shifting shoppers to the internet, Amazon in recent years has become increasingly focused on physical retail, posing a threat to traditional grocers. It will apparently be completely separate from Amazon's Whole Foods chain and its Amazon Go cashier-less convenience stores.
Since its $13.7B acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon has expanded several supermarket services, adding Prime discounts and delivery at Whole Foods and launching a line of cashierless Amazon Go stores. Amazon is reportedly looking to grab a larger sector of the market by opening more conventional stores with a wider selection of groceries than what's now available at their Whole Foods.
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The WSJ, whospoke to someone familiar with the matter, claimed that the goal of the new stores will be to enter the traditional grocery market, which is now dominated by a number of incumbents such as Walmart, Kroger and Albertson's. Part of the plan may be purchasing small, local grocery chains as well. Amazon already has the online ecommerce business on lock, and now it likely wants to conquer the physical shopping, as well. The company has since started delivering groceries from the shelves of Whole Foods locations across the U.S.
It is expected that Amazon is targeting new developments and occupied stores with leases ending soon.
Will a less-ritzy grocery store owned by Jeff Bezos be any better than the one down the street from you now?