In a potentially inconvenient move for grocery retailers, online giant Amazon is expanding into bricks-and-mortar sites.
Amazon is extending beyond its online-only model to open physical convenience stores following its recent online grocery expansion, which included the launch of Amazon Fresh in June, and Amazon Dash last month.
The Project Como grocery stores will launch first in Amazon’s home town of Seattle, in America. But if the trial is successful, it is thought the project will be expanded across the US and then the UK.
Commenting on the move, David Jinks, head of consumer research at couriers ParcelHero, said: “Amazon is building on its Amazon Fresh grocery service to sell items such as fruit and veg, bread, milk, meats and other perishables in town centre locations.
“The new stores will be aimed at Fresh customers who want to choose their own produce – a major drawback to online grocery shopping – or pick up their food on the way home from work.”
Amazon already has physical high street book stores, and pop-up shops highlighting its range of electronic goods. The company’s move into physical food stores reflects its focus on winning a wider share of the grocery market in the US and the UK.
Jinks added: “American and British shoppers are rapidly moving their weekly food shop online; meaning the regular visit to the supermarket will soon be a memory – leaving many superstores as white elephants.
“In contrast, convenience store sales will grow rapidly as consumers look to supplement their weekly food home deliveries with purchases of fresh items from handy local stores on the way home from work.”