Going against the grain, Amazon to build brick-and-mortar convenience stores

Amazon hopes to play a more dominant role in the competitive grocery business by building brick-and-mortar stores to sell produce, meats and other perishable items that are difficult — and costly — to ship to customers via its online retail service, reports The Wall Street Journal.

While groceries make up about a fifth of consumer spending, online grocery purchases only make up about 2 percent of national grocery sales, according to Morgan Stanley Research.

Amazon aims to tap into the direct grocery store market with its new stores, as well as with a curb side pick-up option where online grocery orders would be brought out to customers' cars at designated locations. At the stores, customers could also use their cell phones — or maybe even touch screens in the store — to order foods with longer shelf lives for same-day delivery, according to the report.

Right now, the grocery stores are slated exclusively for customers of Amazon's Fresh subscription service, which provides same-day food delivery for various products.

Amazon is scouting locations for the stores, which may not open for a year or more if they are not shelved from financial or operation concerns, according to the report.

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