Amazon is planning to open dozens of new grocery stores separate from its Whole Foods business.
The company has signed leases on more than a dozen locations in and around Los Angeles for the new stores, reports the Wall Street Journal. The stores could open as early as the end of this year, according to unnamed sources. Other stores are expected to open in Chicago and Philadelphia, and Amazon is reportedly eying sites in the New York metropolitan area.
Plans date back as far as an internal memo released in early 2017. A New York Times report says the memo described sections for produce, fresh food and prepared meals, with non-perishables like paper towels or canned beans on a separate floor, away from customers. Work currently underway at some of the new sites suggests the new stores will have substantial kitchen facilities, indicating that the prepared foods part of the offering will be significant.
Overall, Amazon plans to open dozens of stores, catering to middle-income consumers outside urban cores. Store sizes are expected to be between 20,000 and 40,000 square feet.
Amazon already has 16 bricks-and-mortar Amazon Go stores and four 4-star stores outside the Whole Foods umbrella. While revenue so far is relatively small, the numbers are climbing.