Amazon.com, Inc. is planning to open a new drive-up grocery location in Seattle, according to planning documents discovered by GeekWire. The online retailer wants to open a 9,759-square-foot retail space in in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The drive-up grocery store will allow customers to pick up groceries that were ordered online. According to the report, the company calls it “a new model of grocery shopping.”
Project X Clue… Louie’s Cuisine of China
According to permit filings, Amazon plans to renovate the former Louie’s Cuisine of China site into a 9,759-square-foot retail space. The e-commerce giant is keeping the project details under wraps. GeekWire reported that planning documents, filed with the city of Seattle, use the mysterious moniker “Project X,” with no reference to the e-commerce giant.
According to the report, the description of the project matches the language in planning documents for Amazon drive-up grocery stores planned in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ware Malcomb has designed Amazon’s drive up grocery stores in the Bay Area as well as its Prime Now delivery hub in Seattle. He is listed as the architect for “Project X” as well.
Amazon.com, Inc. two others drive-up grocery stores are located in Sunnyvale and San Carlos, California. The stores allow customers to place grocery orders online and pick them up at a pick up window.
Responding to GeekWire, Amazon said:
When placing an online order, customers will schedule a specific 15-minute to two-hour pick up window. Peak time slots will sell out, which will help manage traffic flow within the customer parking adjacent to the building. When picking up purchased items, customers can either drive into a designated parking area with eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars or they can walk into the retail area to pick up their items. Customers will also be able to walk into the retail room to place orders on a tablet. Walk in customers will have their products delivered to them in the retail room.
Amazon Betting On Grocery
Amazon appears to be betting on physical stores. The company’s grocery locations could make it a serious threat to existing grocery service providers in the United States. Last year, the online retailer opened its first physical bookstore at the University Village shopping center in Seattle. The company has also opened multiple local Prime Now hubs to offer one-hour delivery on many different types of items.
At Amazon’s shareholder meeting, CEO Jeff Bezos said that the company is planning to open more stores. “We’re definitely going to open additional stores; how many we don’t know yet,” Bezos said.
Early this year, General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani said in an earnings call that he predicted 400 more Amazon Books locations would open in the future. He then backtracked on that statement.
Business Insider reported that grocery provides Amazon.com, Inc. with the most viable entry into brick-and-mortar retail. The report suggests that online grocery shopping is picking up steam in the country, but customers like to select their own produce in person. Nearly 60% of US consumers don’t like to shop online for groceries because they like to select their own fruits and vegetables, according to a report from Brick Meets Click. So, with Amazon’s drive-up model, customers will be able to inspect their items before leaving the store.
In other news, Amazon was one of several firms to turn down Lyft, the mobile ride-sharing app. A report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners revealed that the e-commerce giant increased its total Prime membership by 19 million since July 2015.