STORE SPACES

Online giant reportedly planning retail store expansion

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Amazon is eyeing an expansion of its Whole Foods Market portfolio, a move that could give new customers access to the company’s two-hour grocery delivery service.

Amazon announced that it will expand its Whole Foods Market portfolio into new regions, with a focus on suburban areas, according to MarketWatch, which cited The Wall Street Journal.

The expansion will make it easier for the online retailer to ramp up its two-hour grocery delivery service, called Prime Now, to more customers, the report added.

Prime Now is currently available in more than 60 cities across the United States. Since launching the ultrafast delivery service at Whole Foods, Prime members in Austin, San Francisco and Boston took advantage of the program in 2018 more than any other city, according to Amazon.

While both companies declined to reveal plans for new store construction and spending, Whole Foods employees have visited potential retail spaces in Idaho, southern Utah and Wyoming, a source familiar with the situation said in the report.

According to MarketWatch, these spaces averaged 45,000 sq. ft., slightly larger than a typical Whole Foods supermarket. The extra space will be used for pickup and delivery services.

Amazon purchased the natural foods grocer for $13.7 billion in September 2017.

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