Amazon’s Retail Consolidation May Ease Change

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Whole Foods + Amazon signage

Seattle, WA — Amazon’s latest management move combining all its retail operations, along with Whole Foods Market, under SVP Steve Kessel gives it the flexibility to experiment seamlessly with the most efficient ways to deliver groceries to consumers and optimize the brick-and-mortar to digital connection and data.

Kessel’s background using data to create inventive solutions for the retailer and his mandate to create the store of the future has already led to things like bookstores selling products tailored to what sells in a particular market. Shoppers scan to find the price and this also gives Amazon merchandising insights because it’s a real-time browsing inventory.

While he’s long overseen the retail end of the business – books, music – and led development of products such as the Kindle reader and Fire tablet – Kessel’s great advantage could be his freshened perspective from taking a two-year sabbatical from the company. He returned in 2015.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report that responsibility for Prime Now, the fast delivery operation and Amazon Fresh, its grocery-delivery operation; now fall under Kessel, in addition to Whole Foods and Amazon’s physical operations.

The Seattle experiment called Amazon Go that employs artificial intelligence and allows customers to grab goods and automatically check out is another Kessel project.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine, 11/14/17

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