Amazon Opens Grocery Stores to Prime Members
Amazon.com’s two grocery pickup sites in Seattle have emerged out of “beta” mode, and can now be used by members of the company’s Prime loyalty program. The concept, dubbed AmazonFresh Pickup, allows shoppers to buy items online and choose a time to collect them at a drive-in Amazon facility, where the grocery bags will be brought to their car. Until last Thursday, only Amazon employees participating in a test program could access these two sites. Their opening to the public means that the early part of the experiment must have worked, and now Amazon will test it on a much broader scale.
Total Retail's Take: The opening of these two "stores" represents significant progress for Amazon in two areas it has targeted for growth: grocery and brick-and-mortar retail. The online grocery market is one of the fastest-growing retail verticals, and naturally Amazon wants its piece of the action. Furthermore, physical stores are a big part of Amazon's future, from its growing bookstore footprint to the innovative Amazon Go concept. Lastly, making the AmazonFresh Pickup service available only to Prime members provides yet another incentive for consumers to sign up for the $99/year program, which has proven to be very profitable for the online retailer.