Look out, 7-Eleven: Amazon’s push into brick-and-mortar retail is getting serious.
The e-commerce giant is considering building its own convenience stores to sell perishable items such as produce, milk and meat, according to a Wall Street Journal report this morning, citing anonymous sources familiar with Amazon’s plans.
The Wall Street Journal also confirmed that Amazon will debut its own drive-up grocery stores, citing GeekWire’s reporting on the secretive Amazon location in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The company may be “just weeks” from opening that location, one source told the newspaper.
But the convenience stores are a new twist. The WSJ says Amazon “aims to build small brick-and-mortar stores that would sell produce, milk, meats and other perishable items that customers can take home,” according to its sources. “Primarily using their mobile phones or, possibly, touch screens around the store, customers could also order peanut butter, cereal and other goods with longer shelf lives for same-day delivery.”
However, the report cautions, the convenience stores “may take a year or more to open while Amazon scouts locations, and may be shelved because of financial or operational concerns, the people said.”
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The stores, known internally by the code name “Project Como,” will be available exclusively to AmazonFresh subscribers, according to the report. Amazon last week dropped the price of an AmazonFresh subscription to $15/month, from $299/year previously. AmazonFresh customers must also belong to the Amazon Prime membership program, and pay a delivery fee on orders of less than $40.
The e-commerce giant has made a tradition of testing its newest concepts in its hometown, including its first full-fledged physical bookstore last fall. AmazonFresh first rolled out as a pilot in the Seattle region nearly a decade ago.
We’ve contacted Amazon for comment on the Wall Street Journal report.