Will Amazon give new meaning to convenience stores?
There is a lot of grocery news coming out about Amazon.com. Construction on its not-so-secret drive-up grocery store in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood appears to be heading to completion. The e-tail giant just dropped its annual subscription fee and converted to a monthly charge for Prime members to entice them to use AmazonFresh. Could it also be, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, that Amazon is planning to open convenience stores?
The stores, according to the paper, would stock a variety of dairy, meat, produce and other perishable items that customers could take home with them. The idea is to capture those customers who like to make quick stops to pick up small orders of groceries on their way home from work. Shoppers who need other items not stocked in the stores would be able to order them for same-day delivery by either using provided touchscreens or their personal mobile devices.
With its recent moves, Amazon seems intent on capturing greater share of the U.S. grocery market where it currently holds a 1.1 percent share, according to Cowen and Company.
Should Amazon pursue opening convenience stores, according to USA Today, it would follow unsuccessful attempts by Walmart with its To Go stores as well as Tesco’s Fresh & Easy. And it’s doubtful that the major, established c-store chains will cede ground easily.
Seven & I Holdings, the parent company of 7-Eleven, recently announced plans to expand in North America through an aggressive acquisition strategy. The company plans to up its store count in North America to 10,000 by its fiscal 2019. The convenience store giant currently has 8,900 stores.
- Amazon to Expand Grocery Business With New Convenience Stores – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Amazon convenience store? Don’t worry, 7-Eleven – USA Today
- Amazon reportedly plans to open convenience stores – Engadget
- 7-Eleven Seeks North American Expansion, in Bow to Daniel Loeb – The Wall Street Journal (sub. required)
- Amazon’s secretive drive-up grocery store takes shape in Seattle neighborhood – GeekWire
- Will Amazon drive-up grocery stores disrupt retailing? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are American consumers ready for a new type of convenience store emphasizing fresh foods? Do you think Amazon could create a winning concept?