Shortly after Amazon acquired Whole Foods, Amazon devices such as the Echo started popping up for sale alongside the artisan quinoa and Kombucha at the grocery chain. TechCrunch reports that Amazon is set to expand that footprint by adding pop-up stores in select Whole Foods locations across the U.S., just in time for the holidays.
These pop-up shops will sell Amazon gear, and will also be staffed with experts to provide product test drives, and teach people about Amazon services such as Prime and its many benefits.
Amazon devices such as the Echo and Fire TV lines are already carried in more than 100 Whole Foods locations, and Amazon already has a number of pop-up stores in various malls and such across the U.S., so adding or migrating them to Whole Foods’ locations isn’t a huge shock.
In fact, The Wall Street Journal reports today that Amazon has re-orged with Prime Now, AmazonFresh, Amazon retail locations and Whole Foods all now reporting to Amazon veteran Steve Kessel. It doesn’t take a genius to see more synergies on the horizon.
Holiday-ready pop-ups are most likely just the tip of the spear, and having a real world presence can benefit Amazon. First, selling a home assistant like the Echo, which can order groceries or provide recipes makes sense in the grocery context. And having actual humans on hand to explain how any Whole Foods/Prime Now grocery or meal kit delivery will work (think: Amazon Key!) will go a long way to sway the not so tech savvy.
Amazon pop-ups will start rolling out in Chicago and Rochester Hills on November 13.