Amazon already has an online grocery brand called Amazon Fresh, that is handling grocery deliveries around the country. Earlier this year, they even announced that they were looking to start this service in India with a pilot session happening in Hyderabad with plans to expand to other parts of the country in the next year. But now, according to Business Insider, Amazon is looking to open 2,000 Amazon Fresh-branded grocery stores in the US.
Right now, Amazon is planning to start a 20-location pilot program for the grocery stores by the end of 2018 in Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Miami and the Bay Area according to documents viewed by Business Insider.
The company is looking to experience with different versions of the grocery stores including ‘click-and-collect’ drive-up spots where Amazon customers can pick up their online orders. As well as cart-pushing traditional grocery stores that already exist worldwide. The documents reveal Amazon’s vision for the grocery stores, but there’s a possibility the company could change course depending on market conditions.
Along with the grocery stores, Amazon’s business ambitions include expanding its online retailing and looking for new ways to reach customers. So far, the company has already opened physical bookstores and is in the process of building a network of pop-up stores in malls to showcase the line of hardware products.
While Amazon has stepped into the grocery market, its still taking it slow and the expansion isn’t going as fast as predicted. Its only available in 17 US cities and one international location in London since the launch in 2007. With this news, however, it’s clear that Amazon is preparing for a much more aggressive push into a very competitive market.
One of the things that Amazon is struggling with is whether or not the grocery stores will be open to the general public or limit the access to members of its Prime Fresh club who already pay a monthly fee to receive grocery at home. This question is said to be listed in the “risks/concerns” section of the documents.