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Bloomberg quotes analyst Tom Forte of DA Davidson - described as a longtime Amazon enthusiast - as saying that Amazon’s next target for business disruption should be the gas station business.

Adding gas stations would “provide the company thousands of commercial locations to advance its delivery efforts,” he wrote in a note to clients, suggesting that “such outposts could be used for Amazon Locker -- the company’s centralized package pick-up locations -- or to utilize Amazon Go, its cashier-free checkout technology. In addition, selling gas would provide another revenue source; Forte noted that Costco Wholesale derived 10 percent of its revenue from gasoline sales.”

And, the story says, “Gas stations would also ‘provide the company additional data on the physical whereabouts of consumers,’ as it would have ‘thousands more locations where it would know where consumers were shopping’.”

The story comes amid reports that Amazon has big plans for its Whole Foods business - it wants to open stores in areas of the US where it currently does not operate, include facilities in those stores that will allow for pickup and delivery of Amazon orders, and also enable it to extend its Prime Now two-hour delivery service to new regions of the country.
KC's View:
I’m always a little skeptical about these sorts of analyst recommendations, but I have to admit that this one is intriguing. I do think we have to be careful about assuming that Amazon can or should buy pretty much everything … it is a lot more strategic and targeted than that, and needs to be sure that acquisition and business initiatives feed and support the broader goals.

We’ve written here before about Filld, a mobile fueling service that provides a new level of convenience; you don’t have to go get gas because the as comes to you, extending the notion of automatic replenishment. (In fact, you can listen to a podcast about it here.) That might be a more disruptive move for Amazon to make … it would challenge a traditional business model and build on Amazon’s delivery ethos.