Bloomberg reports that Amazon "is planning to open a new grocery store in Irvine, California, the second confirmed location for an as-yet-unnamed retail concept separate from the company’s Whole Foods Market chain."
According to the story, "Amazon last year said it would launch a new supermarket, also distinct from the Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores, starting with a store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The company’s plans in nearby Irvine had been the subject of speculation since Amazon began renovating a former Babies R Us there. The company has received a liquor license for the location under the name 'Amazon Fresh,' the same name as its grocery delivery service."
- KC's View:
Funny … a couple of months ago I figured that Amazon's bricks-and-mortar ambitions would end up being one of the bigger business stories I'd write about during the first quarter of the year. Now, not so much … though it is nice to write about something "normal" and not pandemic-related.
While Amazon seems to have a number of things going - Amazon Go stores, an Amazon Go Grocery in Seattle, and now this new supermarket format that the public has yet to see.
The Woodland Hills store was supposed to open early in 2020, but I have to wonder if a lot of these plans will be delayed until the impact of the pandemic has subsided a bit.
Tell you one thing, though - if Amazon's goal with these new stores is to create a value-driven format, the current economic crisis and descent into recession or worse will certainly be the appropriate environment in which to test them.