Amazon wants to sell you alcoholic beverages out of a drive-thru
Amazon has already transformed the way we shop for books, toys, and electronics. Now it wants to upend how shoppers pick up groceries—and alcohol.
Amazon is always highly secretive about its plans, and the company has not confirmed many of the details about its forays into the supermarket business. But it’s been widely reported that the company plans on opening 20 grocery stores over the next year or so, and as many as 2,000 locations over the next decade.
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And—this being Amazon—they’re not your average old-fashioned supermarkets. One retail model, dubbed Amazon Go, which Amazon showed off in a video released in December, features no checkout lines. Customers simply fill up carts or baskets with the items they want, and they’re automatically charged to the corresponding Amazon account upon exiting the store.
Another other grocery model Amazon is experimenting with the so-called “click and collect” system, in which shoppers place orders online and then swing by a physical location for quick, convenient pickup. Grocery giants like Walmart and Kroger have been expanding their “click and collect” services lately, and it looks like Amazon will soon be in the game as well.
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USA Today reported that Amazon is rumored to have at least four such drive-up grocery locations in the works—two in Silicon Valley, and two in Seattle. The furthest along seems to be a 9,700-square-foot building in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, and it’s here that Amazon also appears to have just applied for a liquor license. Once it’s operational, the store would allow shoppers to schedule a 15-minute window for picking up orders of eggs, milk, bread, strawberries, and such. Shoppers probably won’t have to ever leave their cars during pickup. And now that beer, wine, and hard liquor seem to be in the mix as well, Amazon’s new retail model could prove to the ultimate in speedy one-stop shopping.
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“They’ve designed this facility so that it’s super efficient, so they’re going to be more competitive on costs and labor,” Roger Davidson, a retail food consultant with the Oakton Advisory Group, told USA Today. “I bet you can put in an order and have it in 30 minutes the way it’s arranged.”
This article originally appeared in Money.