Friday, October 28, 2016

Bricks and Mortar: Amazon Food Stores Probably Won't Disrupt the Grocery Biz (AMZN)

The stock is down $41.14 at $777.18 following yesterday's after-hours earnings miss.

From Forbes:
Amazon's 2,000 food stores will not disrupt the grocery business. And might not be a success.
The unconfirmed reports that Amazon is planning to build 2,000 food stores within ten years here in the US, beginning with a pilot program of 20 stores by the end of 2018 has the grocery industry in a tither. The stores will reportedly be under the Amazon Fresh banner and be tested in two formats – a more traditional store with shelves and shopping carts and one which is “click & collect” where you order beforehand (or in store on a kiosk) and just pick up.

There is little doubt that Amazon is already a player in food, both online and with it’s Amazon Fresh service (now in 17 markets) where shoppers pay $14.99 a month for the service which requires an Amazon Prime membership as well.

Business Insider reported the plan through documents they obtained that share many details including that the pick up locations would be 10,000 square foot and the more traditional format be 30,000 square foot as well as using cutting edge technology like AR to read a customers license plate as they enter the area to speed up their curb side delivery. According to their report, “Amazon believes that some of its stores will offer enough of a draw to become “destination stores” that consumers are willing to drive across town or even out of town to shop at”.

You can almost smell the fear of some retailers. I’m not sure that if Amazon does follow this plan that it will be as disruptive and game changing as many predict. I see it a bit more iffy. I’m afraid that Amazon may well be looking at the past iterations of grocery shopping with a few technology whiz-bangs rather than looking to the future....MORE