LOS ANGELES—Amazon is moving ahead with plans to open a chain of grocery stores in the U.S. and has solidified that move by signing leases for spaces in Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company reportedly has signed more than a dozen leases in L.A., and the first stores will likely open in Woodland Hills and Studio City. One of the locations, a 35,000 square foot space, in L.A. was previously occupied by Toys “R” Us. The article says that the stores could open as early as the end of the year.
Amazon is focusing on its brick-and-mortar presence—and it’s moving rapidly. The leased locations are outside of urban cores and cater to middle-class consumers—not to directly compete with Amazon’s Whole Foods Market chain or the 16 Amazon Go cashier-less stores.
Amazon is looking at grocery spaces in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. These locations are primarily in strip centers and open-air shopping areas, at about 20,000 to 40,000 square feet each.
The Wall Street Journal says that revenue from Amazon’s brick-and-mortar businesses is “small but edging up.” Amazon’s earnings statement shows that in the second quarter of this year, net sales from Amazon’s physical stores rose 1% to $4.3 billion from a year earlier, compared with 16% growth recorded in its online stores. Sales in its physical stores include items that customers select in the store, but exclude purchases made online and picked up at a store.