SAN FRANCISCO — Amazon may be looking to open a series of convenience stores, in addition to possible drive-through grocery pickup sites, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, grocery experts say they believe it’s more a targeted marketing ploy than any broad move to become the next 7-Eleven.
The stores would sell a small number of perishable goods such as milk, meat and vegetables, with shoppers able to order non-perishable items such as cereal for same-day delivery rather than immediate pickup at the store, the report said.
That model ties in with reports that Amazon is planning as many as three drive-through grocery pickup sites, two in California and one in its hometown of Seattle. These sites would allow customers to order online, then drive by and get parking lot delivery of their groceries during a set window of time.
Amazon declined to comment. The stock (AMZN) was down slightly Tuesday.
Amazon wouldn't be the first large retailer to try to create their own type of convenience stores. Walmart tried Walmart To Go and Britain's Tesco with Fresh & Easy. In 2006 The Home Depot announced it would open 300 Fuel stores, but only a few actually appeared.
Food and grocery analyst Jim Prevor sees the rumored Amazon convenience stores as more a market research effort than a plan for a major roll out, much as Amazon has opened two brick-and-mortar bookstores, one in Seattle and one in San Diego, with more planned.