Amazon.com's Move Towards Brick & Mortar

Amazon Go 

About two weeks ago Amazon.com announced it's first small-format grocery store, Amazon Go. While it is only 1 of 3 different brick and mortar formats that the company has been entertaining, it is Amazon's first take on Brick and Mortar grocery 

Amazon's two other brick and mortar formats are designed to be bigger than the Amazon Go convenience grocery store. They would create a shopping experience that merged online shopping and brick and mortar shopping into one experience. 

Ambitious Aspirations 

Depending on prototype performance at test locations, Amazon.com hopes to open 2,000 brick and mortar stores under its brand name. Having that many locations not only would increase Amazon's hold on multiple markets, but also help bolster their already impressive logistics network. 

The two brick and mortar templates aside from Amazon Go include product and grocery pick up store front as well as a convenience that offers a selections of fresh food items as well as the option to order online and pick up from the store.  

These brick and mortar stores are all part of Amazon's Project Como, which aims to help Amazon.com break into the grocery market and expand its hold on the retail industry. Prototypes of brick and mortar Amazon stores are slated to open up next year in Seattle and its surrounding suburbs. 

The Race To Revolutionize Grocery & Retail

Amazon.com isn't alone in the race to capture the market of in-store delivery. Walmart and Target have both been expanding the amount of locations where grocery pick up is available. 

Previously Amazon.com concentrated a majority of its efforts to enter the Grocery industry on its service Amazon Fresh. Members order fresh food online and have it delivered to their doorstep. But this service hasn't gained popularity as quickly as Amazon's other products. Logistically this service is complicated. Different foods need to be stored at different temperatures in transit and delivery to some more remote locations prove difficult. While Amazon Fresh is a foot in the door for Amazon.com in the massive Grocery industry, its ability to scale is questionable.   

How Amazon Go Works

The Amazon Go store, spans 1,800 square feet and is located in downtown Seattle. The store features a revolutionary technology suite that eliminates, service counters and check outs. Customers simply scan their smart phones at a kiosk located at the entrance of the store and walk in to shop. All the customer needs to do is scan the items he or she wants and then walk out. Amazon Go's store technology tracks which items are taken from the store and charges the customers Amazon.com account for the purchase. 

Drive Through Pick Up 

In neighboring Seattle suburbs, work finishes up on one of two Amazon.com Drive-Through prototype locations. The Drive-Through will offer a pick up service for Amazon.com customer's groceries and other retail purchases. 

Combining eCommerce and Brick & Mortar 

The third prototype is a 30,000 to 40,000 square foot market. According to Amazon.com the store will offer a selection of fresh grocery products along with other products. The store will also offer interfaces to make orders online and in store pick up will be available. 

As Amazon.com develops its grocery supply chain to it's new brick and mortar stores, it will ideally look to become a carrier for other grocery brand's food products and produce. Whether or not grocery stores will be open to giving Amazon.com a chunk out of their operation is another question entirely. Regardless of whether or not grocery stores utilize Amazon's carrier service, Amazon.com is becoming a logistics powerhouse that has its ambitions set far past basic web retail.  

Source: Stevens, Laura, and Khadeeja Safdar. "Amazon Working on Several Grocery-Store Formats, Could Open More Than 2,000 Locations." The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, Dec. & jan. 2016. Web. 22 Dec. 2016.