Amazon has confirmed plans for a new grocery store format in the US in 2020, following months of speculation. The new format is being described as Amazon’s “first grocery store”, larger than its Amazon Go stores (and minus the checkoutless technology), and more mainstream than its organic, upscale Whole Foods format. The first store will open in Woodland Hills, California, with further delivery expansion cited in previous reports.
Amazon’s latest move confirms the online giant’s offline ambitions, as it edges closer into physical retail through its multi-banner approach in the US. The new format will help Amazon further test and develop its grocery offering here - a sector it wants to lead in, and where it has been particularly active in recent months with a series of delivery initiatives including most recently removing the delivery fee for Amazon Fresh.
While the introduction of yet another new format could be signs of Amazon scaling back from its Whole Foods proposition and creating an alternative to its capital intensive Amazon Go stores, its test-and-learn mentality could offer suppliers opportunities to expand their in-store presence in the future, in the US and internationally. With the potential for more mainstream brand listings in Amazon’s latest format, brands should focus on driving key online metrics such as conversion to support distribution negotiations.
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