Amazon to Open Drive-Up Grocery Store
Amazon.com is planning to open a drive-up grocery store in Seattle, newly discovered planning documents suggest. Permit filings uncovered by GeekWire show plans to renovate a former restaurant in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood into a 9,759 square foot retail space where customers can pick up groceries that they’ve ordered online, in what the project team calls “a new model of grocery shopping.” Amazon appears to be doing its best to keep its involvement under wraps. Planning documents filed with the city of Seattle use the mysterious moniker “Project X,” with no reference to the e-commerce giant.
Total Retail's Take: Amazon is continuing its push into brick-and-mortar retail. First there was the opening of a physical bookstore in the retailer's hometown of Seattle, and now a grocery store (or at least a hybrid version of a grocery store). Grocery is a category in which Amazon sees an opportunity, and therefore is investing significant resources. Traditionally, nearly 100 percent of grocery purchases have been made in brick-and-mortar stores. That's slowly changing, particularly in urban markets. Online grocery shopping is growing in popularity. Amazon's new drive-up grocery store will merge the two channels in attempt to maximize sales.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.