SEATTLE — Amazon is working to expand its omnichannel capabilities as the lines between physical and online retail continue to blur.
Reports indicate that Amazon Go could evolve into a store-as-a-service offering. Meanwhile, Prime members have access to grocery delivery at no additional cost and the online retailer’s network of retail pickup locations is expanding. All of this occurs as Amazon quietly builds its rumored brick-and-mortar grocery concept.
Click through for more on Seattle-based Amazon’s recent omnichannel moves …
Amazon takes flight
Amazon is reportedly in talks with the parent company of Cibo Express Gourmet Markets to bring its Amazon Go stores to airports and Cineworld’s Regal theaters, according to CNBC. The report claims the idea is to start installing the stores in the first quarter of 2020, with hundreds of similar stores up and running by the end of 2020.
CNBC’s report also poses the logical next question—how would Amazon monetize a third-party version of Amazon Go?
Amazon has explored asking for a percentage of sales from goods purchased at third-party Amazon Go stores. The company has also looked into charging retailers when they adopt the service, along with a monthly fee, according to the CNBC report. However, it is not clear how the technology and store would be branded in a third-party scenario.
Almost free grocery delivery
The monthly $14.99 fee for grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh is a thing of the past. Now, all Amazon Prime members can have their groceries delivered through Amazon Fresh at no additional cost.
“Prime members love the convenience of free grocery delivery on Amazon, which is why we’ve made Amazon Fresh a free benefit of Prime, saving customers $14.99 per month,” said Stephenie Landry, Amazon’s vice president of Grocery Delivery. “Grocery delivery is one of the fastest-growing businesses at Amazon, and we think this will be one of the most loved Prime benefits.”
Amazon is doubling down on its effort to turn convenience stores and drugstores into Amazon package pickup centers with Counter. CSPDaily News recently reported that Amazon has expanded Counter with new retail partners, including GNC, Health Mart and Stage Stores.
Amazon’s push to grow Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh and Counter has not halted speculation into its much-rumored grocery concept, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
CSP sister publication Winsight Grocery Business recently shared a developing grocery store tracker from Planned Grocery, a service of Columbia, S.C.-based Beitz and Daigh Geographics. The tracker covers 77 proposed grocery-store sites across the United States that do not have an identified tenant.
“I feel like at least some of those 77 will turn into Amazon stores,” David Beitz, president of Beitz and Daigh, told WGB.