Amazon could open over 2,000 grocery stores in massive retail push

Posted:
in General Discussion
In a plan that could up-end both conventional grocery chains and app-based services like Instacart, Amazon is hoping to open more than 2,000 self-branded grocery stores, according to a report.




Prospects are dependent on the success of test locations, sources informed The Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday Amazon revealed "Amazon Go," its first-ever grocery store, which is currently open only to Amazon workers but will reach the public in early 2017. Shoppers have to check in with a special app, but can then simply pick up whatever they want and leave, with the bill appearing on their Amazon account. Various sensor and AI technologies are used to determine what a customer is taking off of shelves.

Still in the works, the sources said, are two other store formats. Whereas Go is closer to the size of a convenience store, in November Amazon's technology team reportedly approved a proposal to open much larger, multifunction stores with curbside pickup options. With the greenlight, planning and hiring can get underway.

Two drive-through prototype stores, without any in-person browsing, are meanwhile expected to open in Seattle within the next few weeks.

Amazon is already a dominant force in selling products like books and electronics, but it has made little headway into groceries, which are delivered via AmazonFresh or Prime Now. The extra cost and wait times can make those options impractical even where they're available, but physical outlets might solve both problems.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,897member
    I'll stick with Wegmans thank you very much! 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 2 of 45
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    jbdragon
  • Reply 3 of 45
    sog35 said:
    This is good for competition.

    Hope other stores realize that waiting in line is stupid and the worst part about grocery shopping
    It is actually quite the opposite, smaller chains will not be able to invest this heavily into these technologies short term and only larger companies will survive. This will drive down prices in the short term but can possibly have adverse effects in the future.
    repressthisdysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 45
    This really has absolutely nothing to do with Apple, but it's a fascinating look at how Amazon is set to disrupt retail and the physical shopping experience.

    Imagine an Amazon competitor to IKEA or them breaking into a completely automated fast food drive thru concept.

    Every retail business better get their act together if they want to survive this. And those morons pushing for a $15/hr minimum wage? This is the future. No or massively reduced minimum wage service sector employees.
    edited December 2016 repressthis
  • Reply 5 of 45
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,897member
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    lostkiwifotoformattyler82dysamoriaration al
  • Reply 6 of 45
    I'm down if it also has a drive-thru that will hand me a coffee and my other amazon orders.

    so I guess there should be at least one (1) employee until robots can do that too...
  • Reply 7 of 45
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,135member
    macxpress said:
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    Well I HATE shopping! The faster I'm in and out the better. I hate waiting in line. I'll go to Costco, pick up a couple things, see the LONG slow moving lines and saw screw it, just put the things down and walk right out of the place. I have a couple things that would take a minute to go though and be done, but waiting behind a bunch of people will carts full of crap to do it, no thanks. I won't wait in big lines for anything. The last big line I waited in was for Pink Floyd tickets, so it's been a while. 2000 Amazon stores, however long that takes really isn't that many stores. It's a drop in the bucket, unless you live in a big city, it's more then likely not going to be close enough for a lot of people to shop at. Maybe this tech will be shared with other company's.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    Bezos has always said he doesn't want to open a bricks and mortar shop unless they can do something different. This is a great concept. Might not work for every shop-type but it takes mobile payments to a new level. Once PSD2 comes in, I'm sure Amazon will have a bank-front too
    repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 45
    macxpress said:
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    After I get what I need I certainly don't need an overpaid and unconcerned bagger restuffing my goods haphazardly in a bag. I just want to get the heck out of the store. Amazon has the right idea here.
  • Reply 10 of 45
    MGFMGF Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    You have to wonder. What is the goal? Groceries are a VERY tough business.  Margins are quite low, and capital requirements (building out stores, staff) are enormous.

    You have to have a niche. Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. General purpose grocery stores (Safeway, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Stop and Shop) have a rough time making good profits. Telling people they don't have to wait for the cashier is not a niche. It's a gimmick. And I'd spend just as much time making sure I got charged correctly because I don't trust their sensors.  Yes, I picked up that bag of chips, but I didn't leave the store with it, but still got charged anyway? No, thank you. If a cashier accidentally scans something twice, I'm going to notice because I'm standing right there.

    So I ask again, what's the goal? This seems incredibly misguided. 
    palominedysamoriaration al
  • Reply 11 of 45
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    I like how optmistic these reports are. Yes, they could open 2,000. Or, 200. Or, 20. Fact is, they have opened zero. Let's wait and see how well the first one works out, before we start predicting THOUSANDS. But then again, this is Amazon, who ALWAYS gets the benefit of the doubt, with an insane P/E ratio for a company that makes close to zero profit.
    StrangeDayslostkiwipalominedysamoriaration al
  • Reply 12 of 45
    MGF said:
    You have to wonder. What is the goal? Groceries are a VERY tough business.  Margins are quite low, and capital requirements (building out stores, staff) are enormous.

    You have to have a niche. Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. General purpose grocery stores (Safeway, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Stop and Shop) have a rough time making good profits. Telling people they don't have to wait for the cashier is not a niche. It's a gimmick. And I'd spend just as much time making sure I got charged correctly because I don't trust their sensors.  Yes, I picked up that bag of chips, but I didn't leave the store with it, but still got charged anyway? No, thank you. If a cashier accidentally scans something twice, I'm going to notice because I'm standing right there.
    i'm not so sure -- the error with checking out isn't the checker scanning something twice, it's pricing accuracy between their scanning database and what's printed on the shelf. i have hundreds of things in my cart, so there's no way i'm going to be able eyeball the receipt and know it's 100% accurate. 

    i dont know how Amazon's system works, but it's likely RFID and the final wringing up is likely when you walk out the store, not when you pick up the chips. 
  • Reply 13 of 45
    jbdragon said:
    macxpress said:
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    Well I HATE shopping! The faster I'm in and out the better. I hate waiting in line. I'll go to Costco, pick up a couple things, see the LONG slow moving lines and saw screw it, just put the things down and walk right out of the place. I have a couple things that would take a minute to go though and be done, but waiting behind a bunch of people will carts full of crap to do it, no thanks. I won't wait in big lines for anything. The last big line I waited in was for Pink Floyd tickets, so it's been a while. 2000 Amazon stores, however long that takes really isn't that many stores. It's a drop in the bucket, unless you live in a big city, it's more then likely not going to be close enough for a lot of people to shop at. Maybe this tech will be shared with other company's.
    Many people, me included, feel like you -- hate to shop, navigate (plough) your way through busy aisles, then wait in long lines...

    However, there is a large middle class population of customers where there is a stay-at-home Mom or Dad with several small children.  For many of these, a trip to the supermarket is a social activity. With their kids in tow, they can meet friends and carry on enjoyable conversations with other adult friends while preforming a necessary family chore in a clean, safe environment.

    Supermarket chains have long understood the social needs of these customers and layout their stores accordingly.

    edited December 2016 lostkiwipalominerepressthisration al
  • Reply 14 of 45
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 216member
    This is why $15 minimum wage is never going to happen. More stores will go this route (if Amazon proves it as a business model) when wages get too high.


    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 15 of 45




    IMO, this approach shows a lot of potential for certain types of stores and shopping activity.   

    From what I can tell, this tech once refined should not be too expensive to implement for many stores...  In fact, Amazon could license, install and maintain the tech as a service.

    Another potential advantage is digital, electronic itemized receipts for budget/accounting use by the consumer.

    One missing thing is secure payment such as ApplePay.

    edited December 2016 macxpresslostkiwiSpamSandwichStrangeDaysrepressthis
  • Reply 16 of 45
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,897member
    macxpress said:
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    After I get what I need I certainly don't need an overpaid and unconcerned bagger restuffing my goods haphazardly in a bag. I just want to get the heck out of the store. Amazon has the right idea here.
    Go through self-checkout then. The only thing Amazon may end up doing is putting good places out of business. 
    palominedysamoriaration al
  • Reply 17 of 45
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,630member
    I do this at the Apple Store. Go in, pick item, scan item with phone, leave the shop. 

    But with Amazon I don't even need to scan?

    Impressive. 


  • Reply 18 of 45
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,630member

    macxpress said:
    macxpress said:
    Templeton said:
    Would u like wegman's without lines?
    I never have to wait in line a long time anyways. Its not about waiting in line...its the shopping experience and knowing I can get fresh, locally farmed products. There's more to a grocery store than the checkout process which isn't bad at all IMO. 
    After I get what I need I certainly don't need an overpaid and unconcerned bagger restuffing my goods haphazardly in a bag. I just want to get the heck out of the store. Amazon has the right idea here.
    Go through self-checkout then. The only thing Amazon may end up doing is putting good places out of business. 
    And when there is no one left, they're free to jack  their prices as high as they want. 
    dysamoria
  • Reply 19 of 45
    MGF said:
    You have to wonder. What is the goal? Groceries are a VERY tough business.  Margins are quite low, and capital requirements (building out stores, staff) are enormous.

    You have to have a niche. Whole Foods, Wegmans, etc. General purpose grocery stores (Safeway, Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Stop and Shop) have a rough time making good profits. Telling people they don't have to wait for the cashier is not a niche. It's a gimmick. And I'd spend just as much time making sure I got charged correctly because I don't trust their sensors.  Yes, I picked up that bag of chips, but I didn't leave the store with it, but still got charged anyway? No, thank you. If a cashier accidentally scans something twice, I'm going to notice because I'm standing right there.
    i'm not so sure -- the error with checking out isn't the checker scanning something twice, it's pricing accuracy between their scanning database and what's printed on the shelf. i have hundreds of things in my cart, so there's no way i'm going to be able eyeball the receipt and know it's 100% accurate. 

    i dont know how Amazon's system works, but it's likely RFID and the final wringing up is likely when you walk out the store, not when you pick up the chips. 

    It is simple to mitigate errors and bad charges after the fact with most vendors.  You just pay with your credit card -- with a credit card you have recourse to reverse these charges if the vendor refuses.  If the consumer is reasonable (does not try to overuse this capability) most of these situations can be resolved.

    edited December 2016
  • Reply 20 of 45
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 357member
    The end of coupons is in site.
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