Amazon Announces Plans for New Grocery Store Chain
Reports surfaced today that Amazon is planning to expand its grocery business — not with more Whole Foods stores but with a still-unnamed all-new grocery store chain.
According to an investigation from the Wall Street Journal, “unnamed sources” close to the company have revealed that Amazon is diving even deeper into the grocery business, with a chain slated to open its first location in Los Angeles at the end of this year. Apparently, Amazon has already signed leases on two other locations, which will likely open in early 2020. The new chain may potentially open in San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia, as well.
This chain would not be related to Whole Foods in any way, and may appear in both strip malls and shopping centers (and it is perhaps worth mentioning that this news comes just after Whole Foods announced that it would be closing all of its 365 stores). It will also not be affiliated with Amazon Go cashier-less stores.
The new stores will stock more “mainstream,” as The Verge puts it, products that aren’t available at Whole Foods, which focuses on more expensive, health-focused foods. Amazon wants to break into the “traditional grocery store market” currently ruled by stores like Kroger, Publix, and Walmart. The report didn’t specify whether or not the chain will carry the Amazon name and logo.
The sources seemed to imply that Amazon is looking to expand this new chain quickly: Amazon may also be moving to acquire at least 12 local grocery store chains (though no specific company names were given). Unfortunately this means that as Amazon continues to expand, it eats up local businesses along the way.
However, it’s interesting to consider that while Amazon might be dominating the grocery store market, it’s not even America’s favorite place to shop online. A recent survey found that actually Costco has the highest customer service rating in the country.