Amazon is Seeking to Launch a Grocery Business

Credit Jonathan Weiss

Amazon is planning to launch a brand-new chain of grocery stores across a number of United States cities later this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The online retail giant plans to open its first store in Los Angeles as early as the end of the year, and has already signed leases for at least two other grocery locations with openings planned for early next year, the Journal reported. Amazon plans to open stores in Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Amazon also confirmed that the new chain would be run separately to its Whole Foods subsidiary.

Two grocery chains may seem like overkill to consumers, but WFM made its name on only stocking items within specific parameters-like its blanket ban on foods with artificial colours, for instance.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods in 2017 sent shock waves through the grocery industry and hammered the stocks of traditional grocery stores.

Whole Foods is more of a supplier of expensive foods and generally has no artifacts, preservatives or sweeteners in its assortment.

Amazon hasn't announced whether its new stores will be cashierless, but spokespeople have said Amazon would like to control the parking lots adjacent to its stores to streamline the grocery shopping process.

Amazon may even expand this grocery footprint by acquiring smaller grocery chains that have a dozen or so locations. The company has since started delivering groceries from the shelves of Whole Foods locations across the U.S.

"Since Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, grocery retailers have waited to see if Amazon would launch its own branded stores and that day is finally arriving", Sylvain Perrier, CEO and president of the grocery e-commerce platform Mercatus, said in an emailed statement.



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