It seems that Amazon are due to test a retail concept in Silicon valley. It’s a drive through that allows customer to order their groceries online and then schedule a pick up at the facility. Although not confirmed (so yes, this is a rumour) it’s been spreading through the internet across a range of reliable sources (as well as some plans submitted to council).
If it’s true, then this really propels the giant into a new distribution model and maybe a new supermarket model – for others to follow. The first location for this trial is Sunnyvale – in fact it’s 777 Sunnyvale Saratoga Road.  The plans reveals that it will be a 11,600 square foot (1077 sqm) concept. Here’s the catch through – the plans have been submitted by a real estate developers with sources close it saying Amazon is the tenant. Here’s a snip it from the submission that sums up the idea:
“The applicant describes the proposed use as a grocery retail business where customers would utilize the internet to pre-order their grocery and retail items. When placing an order, customers will have the option of scheduling a specific 15 minute to 2-hour pick-up window. Once an order is placed, customers either can drive into a designated pick-up area with eight parking stalls, where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars, or they can arrive on foot or bicycle and pick-up their items in the store.”
Here’s a rendering from the proposal:
920x920If rumours are true, then this physical store would be the next stage in their AmazonFresh play (which is a next day grocery delivery service). The big issue this concept has faced is around ‘perishable goods’ + getting to the customers while it’s fresh. Added to this a drive through would help reduce the cost and complexity of delivering to individuals households. This concept would start to allow the giant to compete with start ups like Curbside – which allows customers to have their shopping delivered to their car.
Stay tuned