Earlier this month, all-powerful “sources familiar with the matter” claimed that Amazon was on the verge of opening bricks-and-mortar convenience stores and offering curbside pickup. Now, a new report indicates that the e-tailer plans to start small, opening 20 physical grocery stores over the next two years, but ultimately expects to have thousands of stores nationwide.
Business Insider, citing documents from Amazon, reports that the e-commerce giant will open up to 2,000 grocery store locations over the next decade as part of its plan to enter the physical grocery market.
The plan would kick off with a 20-location pilot program in Seattle, Miami, New York, and other large cities by the end of 2018.
While the pilot program would focus on convenience and providing customers with groceries, obviously, the locations would take on two distinct variations: one would be “click-and-collect” for online orders and the other would be traditional grocery stores.
The drive-in stores would likely be around 10,000 square feet, while the traditional stores would be just that, traditional, at 30,000 square feet, the documents state.
Eventually, Amazon could combine the two store types, adding a pickup option to the larger stores.
It’s unclear just who would use the stores. For example, Business Insider reports that Amazon could operate the locations as membership-only retailers — much like its $15/month Fresh delivery service or $99/year Prime membership service.
Previous reports indicated that the stores would only be available to members of Amazon’s Fresh subscription service.
By charging a membership fee, Business Insider suggest, Amazon could offset some of the costs of operating physical stores.
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist