The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is finalizing plans to open dozens of new grocery stores across the country, doubling down on its interest in the grocery market after purchasing Whole Foods in 2017 for more than $13 billion.
According to the story, which Amazon has not confirmed, the Seattle-based tech giant has chosen future homes for the new brand, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. In addition, WSJ speculates that Amazon may even be open to purchasing existing regional grocery brands to increase its footprint in the industry.
This latest move is one of several ways Amazon has dipped its toes into the occasionally chilly waters of the grocery market. Before purchasing Whole Foods, the brand opened a handful of Amazon Go grocery stores that operated without traditional checkout lines or cashiers.
Earlier this year, Yahoo Finance reported that Amazon was halting its expansion of the smaller 365 grocery stores, which were launched in 2015 and branded as smaller, cheaper, more urbane versions of its Whole Foods stores.
In a previous Food On Demand story about the grocery market, Bill Bishop of Brick Meets Click called Amazon’s in-store grocery technology one of the most significant advancements in the U.S. grocery market to date.
“They’ve got technology in terms of product identification and payment and augmented reality all bundled up together [with] inventory planning and assortment,” Bishop said. “I’ve not seen anyone else put together the range and sophistication of technology to reinvent the store shopping experience, and that’s a big deal.”
However Amazon’s grocery chips may fall, it’s a safe bet that its latest iteration of the supermarket will include prepared meals that are increasingly important in the industry, as well as new technology to keep the company on the front lines of the longstanding Great Grocery Wars.