Amazon’s Ambitions Unboxed: Stores for Furniture, Appliances and More

Nick Wingfield:

Joe Thompson, a former general manager in Amazon’s retail business, sees physical retail as key to Mr. Bezos’s outsize ambitions for the company. "I can’t help but feel that, in Bezos’s mind, he wants to be the first trillion-dollar valuation company,” said Mr. Thompson, who is now an executive at BuildDirect, an online home improvement store. To do that, he said, Amazon would have to “crack” a couple of “completely underpenetrated markets online.”

I, personally, would not bet against Bezos reaching his trillion dollar goal in this regard -- new all-time high today, in fact ($421B and counting)... And:

But a group within Amazon has explored another larger grocery store format, according to both a person familiar with the concept and to internal Amazon documents reviewed by The New York Times. The store could stock fresh produce, meats and other items in a public area of the store, while keeping frozen foods, cereals and other items traditionally found in the center of a grocery store behind a wall, in what would be a kind of small Amazon warehouse. Workers behind the wall, not robots, could quickly package orders for customers.

This concept makes sense to me in theory at least. One hold-up with online grocery has been the desire to see (and feel) produce in person. So what if you make a store where you can do that, while everything else is handled behind-the-scenes, literally? 


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