Update: Amazon: “No, We’re Absolutely Not Opening 2,000 Stores” /Update
Amazon is reportedly planning to open up to 2.000 stores in the US, with Amazon Go grocery stores being one part of a mix of formats. The Wall Street Journal is speaking of “at least three formats”.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon hopes to ultimately operate more than 2,000 grocery and convenience stores across the US in a number of different formats. The goal is for Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the US, to completely control the physical flow of products from its warehouses to the end consumer, opening up the possibility for a more robust delivery network and a retail presence that rivals Target and Walmart. […]
The other store formats Amazon is considering include a smaller drive-thru variety and a huge, European-style discount chain. The drive-thru prototypes are weeks away from becoming a reality, The Wall Street Journal reports, with two stores under construction in the Seattle area. The larger discount chain model would involve constructing 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot stores that combine instant purchasing with a kind of IKEA model. That way, consumers could order in-store via touchscreens or online and then pick up the finished packages curbside later on.
Those rumors on 2.000 Amazon stores in the US are not new. Back in October Business Insider obtained internal documents:
Amazon wants to open 20 brick-and-mortar grocery stores over the next two years, and the online retailer believes the US market has room for up to 2,000 of its Amazon Fresh-branded grocery stores over the next decade, Business Insider has learned. […]
The company wants to experiment with different versions of stores during the pilot program. Ten of the grocery stores will be “click-and-collect” drive-up spots for Amazon customers to pick up their online orders. The other 10 will be traditional stores where cart-pushing shoppers can stroll the aisles while touching, smelling, and inspecting produce and other goods for themselves.
As I have been saying, I am sceptical of these plans. Amazon is not going to open traditional stores. But where there’s smoke there’s fire. And this year there has been a lot of smoke. I may have underestimated how much Amazon believes the company can change the grocery store shopping experience for end consumers and, additionally, how much those locations will help Amazon’s overall infrastructure (for the last mile). Interesting. We can take it as given now that Amazon is, indeed, going to try to build a chain of (grocery) stores driven by data, sensors and mobile apps.
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