Whole Foods may have just been the beginning of Amazon‘s dream to become a high-tech Kroger.
A new report from the New York Times reveals that Amazon may be considering adding another grocery store to its list of assets, only this one wouldn’t be bought—it would be built from the ground up.
Amazon, you might recall, barged into the grocery business in June 2017, buying organic-food market Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. The purchase made Walmart, Publix, and Albertsons nervous as the former online-only store suddenly stormed into the room and catapulted to near the top of the $700 billion grocery industry.
According to “several former employees” who spoke to the Times, Amazon is just getting started, though. The tech giant reportedly wants to design a new chain of hybrid grocery stores that combine your average grocery store with one designed specifically with pickup and delivery in mind. Amazon is reportedly already looking for spaces close to Whole Foods locations, so the stores could share warehouse and commissary space.
This would help Amazon cash in on one of its more successful areas of operation in the grocery world—delivery. The new stores would make it easier for Whole Foods delivery shoppers to pack up orders of vegan ravioli, arugula, lemon Spindrift, and fair-trade bananas without having to navigate around civilian shoppers ogling the oat-milk options.
None of this should be surprising, though. Back in 2017, Fast Company published an article titled “Amazon’s Grocery Ambitions Are Far Bigger Than Whole Foods,” documenting the company’s grocery-store ambitions after launching initiatives in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Japan.
We reached out to Amazon for comment.