Amazon.com is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities, as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business, the Wall Street Journal reports.
These stores would reportedly be distinct from both the company’s existing Whole Foods chain and its cashier-less Go convenience stores.
The goal would be to better penetrate the traditional grocery market dominated by companies like Albertson’s, Kroger, Publix, and Walmart, according to the WSJ.
Amazon would reportedly use acquisitions of smaller grocery chains to expand its grocery footprint, but it’s unclear whether the new stores would carry the Amazon name or a separate brand.
The WSJ reports that Amazon has already signed leases for locations in cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle, where it has both existing Whole Foods and Amazon Go locations. The company plans to open its first store in Los Angeles as early as the end of the year, according to the publication.
Shares of major food retailers all fell on hearing the news. Kroger Co., the U.S.’s biggest traditional grocery chain, dropped as much as 6.4%, while Walmart and Costco Wholesale Corp. also declined.
The Seattle-based company has been experimenting with online delivery of groceries for more than a decade. In 2017 it got into brick-and-mortar food retail with its 2017 purchase of Whole Foods.
Amazon has also expanded Amazon Go, its cashierless convenience store concept, to 10 stores.