Amazon plans to open a further 200 Fresh stores with it cashierless technology within the next two years, according to internal documents reviewed by Business Insider.
The ambitious plans are apart of Amazon’s strategy to catch up to the UK’s supermarket leaders in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
The company also has plans to expand the division to Germany, Italy and Spain next year, however employees have revealed that the team has struggled to reach its goals so far.
Leaked plans had revealed the ecommerce giant was planning on opening another 25 Fresh stores in the UK by the end of the year, with a further 60 next year, in line with the growth of other large grocery giants.
“In 2022, we assume a broader rollout of two store launches per week by the end of the year, targeting 60 total openings.
In 2023 and 2024, we are planning 100 store launches per year, in line with the more aggressive opening programmes achieved by convenience grocers in the UK in the last five years (Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Co-op have all exceeded 100 store openings in a year),” the document read.
So far, the plans have been largely unsuccessful with only six of the planned 25 stores opening this year so far.
In order to aid the division’s growth, Amazon hired a senior vice president who had spent the previous 30 years growing Tesco’s international footprint, marking an aggressive movement to expand the company’s bricks-and-mortar footprint.
Despite the failure to meet the targets, Amazon has seen significant progress in its physical store segment, which has seen growth of 13 per cent to $4.3 billion in the last quarter, the second straight quarter of double-digit growth.
The company has also held talks with coffee chain Starbucks surrounding opening a co-branded coffee shop that would use Amazon’s cashierless technology.
Amazon is expected to reduce to cost of fitting out its Fresh stores in order to speed up the roll out, with the annual tech operating cost for each of the stores expected to drop by 75 per cent between 2020 and 2023.
Some of the reductions are already in place, with the company anticipating the annual cost of operating the tech for each Fresh store to fall by almost 75 per cent, according to Business Insider.
However the arm’s team has failed often to reach its internal targets, with employees growing frustrated with the lack of progress and constant direction changes.