Amazon holds the title of the world's largest Internet-based retailer, and as the company continued to grow over the years, Amazon began dabbling with a variety of other business opportunities including grocery home delivery as part of the AmazonFresh service, available for Amazon Prime members in select cities in the United States. But while Amazon is primarily known for its prowess in the e-commerce field, the giant is now reportedly looking into opening brick-and-mortar grocery stores and expand upon the aforementioned AmazonFresh service.
According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Amazon is now working to increase its presence outside the online commerce market with new brick-and-mortar stores for AmazonFresh subscribers. Reportedly, these brick-and-mortar stores will be exclusive to AmazonFresh customers who can currently take advantage of the company's home grocery delivery service for a monthly fee of $15 on top of the Amazon Prime annual subscription worth $99. Furthermore, the report suggests that Amazon is also looking into having drive-in locations, allowing AmazonFresh customers to pick up the products they've ordered online. In any case, it's worth noting that AmazonFresh delivery services are currently available in the Seattle area, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore-Maryland, Sacramento-California, Boston, and in London UK. As yet it's not clear which locations might accommodate brick-and-mortar stores first, or if all the existing AmazonFresh regions so far will be treated equally in this endeavor.
The source also reports that the brick-and-mortar stores for AmazonFresh customers will not be the only area where the giant e-tailer will attempt to increase its presence outside the online commerce niche. In addition to the AmazonFresh brick-and-mortar stores, the company could also open up more physical stores for a wider variety of its products and services, including Amazon Kindle and Amazon Echo. It's worth reminding that Amazon already entered the brick-and-mortar retail market last year when the first physical Amazon Books bookstore was opened in Seattle, and the company is planning to open more Amazon Books physical locations in Portland and Chicago by the end of 2016. Beyond these particular business segments, Amazon is also a big player in the development of drone delivery services and fully-autonomous vehicle systems.