Amazon.com Inc. announced plans to open brick-and-mortar convenience stores and develop curbside pickup locations for food shoppers, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The plan is a move to expand and compete with physical grocery stores.
Amazon’s new stores will sell perishable foods like milk, meats, and produce. It’s an expansion of their online Amazon Fresh service. While in the stores, shoppers can also order non-perishable goods for same-day delivery. In an attempt to compete with Walmart’s grocery pickup service and Kroger’s Clicklist service, Amazon will also build drive-up locations for online shoppers who want their groceries delivered straight to the car. However, only subscribers of Amazon Fresh will have access to the stores, tentatively named Project Como.
As online grocery sales top $48 billion worldwide, this is Amazon’s stake in the game. More apt, it’s their chance to break the mold of traditional grocery retailers. It also comes after Walmart’s efforts to increase online sales and free shipping. Amazon is still king in eCommerce, but now they want to be the king of everything from electronics to food delivery. Perhaps this is just another trick up their sleeve to keep customers loyal?