Amazon could launch new physical grocery store chain

Amazon is poised further ramp up its physical retail presence and open a range of own-brand physical grocery stores.

According to anonymous sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, the online behemoth is planning to launch a new range of grocery stores, separate from its organic grocery food chain Whole Foods, which it purchased in 2017.

The new chain, which could reportedly open as early as this year, will stock a mix of grocery, health and beauty products separate from Whole Foods at a lower price point.

It is not yet known whether the stores will incorporate its pioneering cashierless Amazon Go technology, however it is understood that its first store could open in Los Angeles as early as this year, while other locations in Washington, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Philadelphia have been suggested.

READ MORE: Amazon eyes nationwide expansion of online grocery arm

The stores are expected to be around half the size of usual grocery stores, and the giant may fly in help of another company to accelerate its growth.

This comes as Amazon continues to push into the world of physical retail, having launched its 4-star store concept late last year, selling a range of goods available on its website with a four star rating or above.

These include Amazon’s own Echo and Kindle lines, alongside a range of highly-rated products such as toys, household goods, games and kitchenware.

Prices of the goods will change depending on whether customers are an Amazon Prime member or not, with the retailer ensuring Prime members only pay the online price while non-members pay a premium.

In September, it was revealed that Amazon was planning to dramatically ramp up its Amazon Go grocery store roll out over the next few years, aiming for around 3000 stores by 2021.

Sources close to the company said Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos hopes to create a format similar to Pret A Manger in the UK, selling freshly-prepared food and a limited number of groceries while utilising its coveted cashierless system.

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