While many people have grudgingly accepted Amazon encroaching into every last corner of their digital lives, it may be a different story when it takes over the corner store—which is exactly what Amazon has in mind, as the merchandising megalith is reported to have signed more than a dozen leases in the Los Angeles area to open its own brand of grocery stores.
As the Washington Post reports, the first of these brick-and-mortar outposts are expected to open in Woodland Hills, Studio City, and in the Orange County enclave of Irvine as early as the end of the year. While the company already has 16 Amazon Go stores offering checkout-free prepared foods consumers can pre-order online, the new grocery stores will apparently be more traditional, featuring substantial kitchens when where ready-to-eat meals will be prepared on site, alongside supermarket staples.
One of the first stores to open will be on N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, at a shopping center in Woodland Hills previously occupied by Toys“R”Us, where its neighbors will be Citibank, Office Depot, and Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill—plus a Costco half a mile away.
With each new market averaging about 35,000 square-feet, they’ll be roughly 25,000 feet smaller than the usual supermarket, about 10,000 feet smaller than the average Whole Foods—which Amazon also owns—but double the size of a typical Trader Joe’s.
Amazon also reportedly has plans to expand its grocery stores to San Francisco, Seattle, New York, New Jersey, D.C., Philadelphia, and Chicago. As this news broke, stock prices for established retailers Kroger, Target, Walmart, Costco, BJs, and Sprouts all took a substantial hit.
It remains to be seen how area residents will react to the consumption giant physically manifesting itself in their neighborhoods in such an aggressive way. In February, Amazon had to abruptly abandon plans to open a massive second headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, when local citizens and politicians roundly rejected the company’s proposed presence.
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