After months of speculation, CNET confirmed this morning that Amazon is indeed getting into the grocery store game. Despite this confirmation, however, many questions remain.
Here’s what CNET discovered so far:
- The first Amazon grocery store will be in Woodland Hills, CA near Los Angeles
- It is opening in 2020
- This store is different from Whole Foods
- The store won’t use Amazon Go’s cashierless checkout tech, so you’ll have to wait in lines
We don’t know what name the store will have, or what the selection and pricing will be, or if there are more stores on the way. Earlier reports have suggested that this Amazon store could carry the types of items that Whole Foods doesn’t (e.g. a can of Coke or a box of Twinkies).
Amazon’s bid to build its own grocery stores comes at a time when it is aggressively battling the likes of Walmart, Target and Kroger for a larger piece of the $800 billion dollar US grocery market. According to earlier research, Amazon already leads its competitors in online grocery shopping, but most of that is through Amazon proper, not its Amazon Fresh grocery brand, and those shoppers tend to spend less than shoppers spend at Walmart.com.
Last month, Amazon made delivery of online grocery orders free for all of its Prime Members, and the addition of its own line of groceries stores would give the company more options for customers like curbside pickup.
But right now, online grocery shopping remains a small percentage of overall grocery spending, as people still like to look and touch produce and proteins before they purchase. Having a real world retail store would give Amazon tons of data and insights about who shops and when, how they move through a store, what they buy, what they don’t buy etc. All of this can be leveraged by its already massive retail platform to get you to ultimately buy more, buy more groceries online, and buy more groceries from Amazon.