Amazon is planning to launch a brand-new chain of grocery stores across a number of US cities later this year, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). Reportedly, the new chain would be distinctly different from Whole Foods, which is owned by the tech giant, and Amazon Go, the company's range of cashierless stores.
The WSJ, whospoke to someone familiar with the matter, claimed that the goal of the new stores will be to enter the traditional grocery market, which is currently dominated by a number of incumbents such as Walmart, Kroger and Albertson's.
"The company plans to open its first outlet, in Los Angeles, as early as the end of the year, one person said," reported WSJ. "Amazon has already signed leases for at least two other grocery locations with openings planned for early next year."
The report suggested that Amazon would use acquisitions of smaller grocery chains to build the brand, nonetheless it remains unclear whether the stores would carry the Amazon brand of would maintain a status as a separate sub-brand. The WSJ has reported that Amazon has signed leases in a number of cities such as San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle for potential locations – all locations of existing Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores.
The retail giant has, of late, been eyeing the brick and mortar sector with increasing seriousness. Last year, it was reported that Amazon was planning to open as many as 3,000 of its cashier-less grocery stores, Amazon Go, by 2021 in addition to opening its new concept store, Amazon 4-Star in September 2018.