Seattle, WA–Amazon.com Inc. has plans to open dozens of grocery stores across the U.S., according to a report from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which cited “people familiar with the matter” as the source. WSJ reported that Amazon is in talks to open stores in shopping centers in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, and the first location could open in Los Angeles as early as the end of 2019. Amazon also is in talks to purchase regional grocery chains, according to the report.
The stores would be distinct from Whole Foods Market, according to WSJ, which noted that the chain would carry a greater variety of food with stores sized around 35,000 square feet.
“This is about space, and about a wider assortment because of the convergence of online and brick-and-mortar stores,” Jay Jacobowitz, president and founder of Retail Insights, tells WholeFoods Magazine. “Retailers need to have a seamless shopping experience, which necessarily requires additional storage space for fulfilling online orders at pickup sites and also for delivering.” Jacobowitz adds that it seems Amazon is looking for urban space “on the cheap” and the ability to “sell at a lower price point and lower ingredient standard than Whole Foods Market.”
No name was announced for the new chain, which lead some on twitter to speculate and propose their own names, such as Prime Foods.
Amazon has not confirmed the report.