First there were supermarket shelves. Then barcode scanners, then self-checkout lines, then online shopping. Amazon’s move to take the grocery checkout counter completely out of the loop is the latest disappearing act for the brick-and-mortar retail experience.
But it’s not unexpected: Walmart and Whole Foods also have been working on ways to streamline grocery shopping, using automation and robotics. And the competition could heat up quickly.
“Retailers will be looking to understand what percentage of their current customers are utilizing Amazon, with the thinking that these will be the customers that are most at risk to the Amazon threat,” Matt Sargent, senior vice president for retail at Frank N. Magid Associates, wrote last week in a post that anticipated Amazon’s latest move.
Magid’s research suggests that Amazon shoppers are weighted in favor of the under-44 population, those with kids in the household, those who go to grocery stores more than once a week, and those who make it a point to buy locally. In short, just the kinds of customers that grocery stores want to hang onto.
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