Why Amazon Veterans Are in Charge of Amazon Fresh And Pick-Up Locations

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Recode:

You can tell a lot about how serious Amazon is about a new business by who Jeff Bezos and his executive team tap to work on it. […]

Earlier this year, longtime Amazonian Ben Hartman was chosen to run Amazon Fresh, Recode has learned. Hartman was most recently the technical adviser or “shadow” to Jeff Wilke, the CEO of Amazon’s global consumer business, sources say. The “shadow” program is a big deal at Amazon, with graduates typically going on to run crucial new initiatives at the company.

Amazon lifer Steve Kessel, a member of Bezos’s leadership team, is also involved in the planning for Amazon grocery store experiments, two sources told Recode.

​This makes a lot of sense. Amazon Fresh itself represents a huge market opportunity, with Amazon being well positioned to take a huge part off of the online food market.

The pick-up location experiment, the ‘grocery stores’, on the other hand could easily turn into a crucial part of Amazon’s last-mile infrastructure.

As I wrote:

Rather, think about those physical locations as an extension of the digital business. (Which they obviously are going to be.) […]

Those locations will start with customers picking up their own orders. But drivers fromAmazon Flex or, say, Uber could pick those orders up just the same way and deliver them.

Important for groceries, and thus for Amazon Fresh. But who says those locations couldn’t be also used to dispatch other kinds of orders as well.

Why would that make sense if a hub for one city works right now for Prime Now, one might ask. It would make sense in addition to such hubs and, mainly, in combination with Amazon Flex, increasing the flexibility of the latter with shorter distances to cover. Maybe this doesn’t make sense, maybe it does. Amazon will find out soon enough. That is what experiments are for. And this one has a huge potential upside.

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