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Amazon Confirms Plans for Store Under New Grocery Brand (bloomberg.com)
55 points by t23 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 64 comments

My bet is this will be very similar to Walmart Neighborhood Market. About the size of a drug store, will stock grocery essentials, and will have lower prices than traditional grocery stores (Safeway/VONS, Ralphs, Albertsons, QFC, etc.)

A store like this might allow them to more cost effectively fulfill small items (deodorant, a pack of pens, batteries, aspirin, candy bars, etc.) by shipping from the store to your home.

The big innovation of 7/11 Japan that launched the convenience store craze in Japan was keeping as much stock as possible in lots of retail outlets and ready at point of sale instead of in warehouses.

for what it's worth I think a lot of the convenience store craze in Japan also comes from Japanese cities being very dense and heavily walked. Most of the states lives in a sparsely built suburban environment, using cars for most or all transportation, making it very easy and often preferable to hit up the nearest big box.

In Japan you're almost guaranteed a konbini between you and your destination, and this makes it easy and pleasant to dip in for a snack, breakfast while walking to the train, etc. This is only economically feasible in a dense environment with a LOT of nearby shoppers, particularly considering land costs in Tokyo.

(I saw a good article at some point how a lot of small-town and rural convenience stores in japan aren't economically feasible and they struggle to keep the lights on as corporate demands unreasonable amenities like being open 24/7)

They could call it "Marks and Spence" :-) It would need a lot of ready made stuff so that people on the go could just grab stuff to heat up and eat later.

Oh man, having been to M&S in the UK, I would love to have them in the US.

As would I :-)

If they could do a Dollar General they would crush it. Basically a mini Walmart with no produce. They could pack it to the rafters with frozen food, toiletries and their cheap Chinese shit and use their eye in the sky robocashiers to keep the party going.

How is this better than a Dollar General? Cheaper?

It doesn't need to be better, just different. Based on the test market, Amazon's offering would appear to address a very different segment from Dollar General, which often serves communities where the nearest Walmart is an hour away.

Amazon doesn't need to be cheaper than Dollar General, just the grocery section at CVS.

Better targeted products, they already know what people in the area of each store demand, so each store could have a different mix of products.

I think you underestimate Dollar General. They are very good at what they do.

They really are. I'm always impressed with how much they can squeeze out of the small footprint of their stores. I wonder if they could link up with Pyxis or similar to do tele/robo pharmacy.

Adds amazon lockers for cheaper deliveries and returns; $1 digital credit is likely cheaper than last mile delivery for many locales.

Hell my driveway is a third of a mile long. If the truck gets 15mpg and the driver drives 10mph at $30/hr it costs UPS about 2 bucks just to drop a package off at my front door.

My local grocery store already has amazon lockers in the parking lot. Clearly you don't need to open an entire store to enable that.

Huh, the neighborhood markets are the size of drugstores near you? They’re the size of regular Walmart’s grocery sections here.

Eh you're probably ant fucking, it's a fine comparison to draw versus big box stores.

TBF, probably "2 Walgreens" would be a good comparison in some markets, or "classic grocery store" size.

Kudos to you. I just looked it up and the Walmart Neighborhood Market closest to me is ~30K sq. ft. while the CVS closest to me is 17.5K.

> Eh you're probably ant fucking

I must admit, I'm unfamiliar with this terminology.

There's a similar Whole Foods store. It's called Ideal Market. It's a whole foods brand, they carry their brand products (365) and basically just groceries without much extra.

But yeah, those don't carry items outside of what you'd find in a normal Whole Foods.

Here's what we know:

* Will open in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, 2008 median household income was USD 93,720 [1]. I don't expect a discount-type store.

* The Wall Street Journal says they're working on more stores, but this is the only one that Amazon has confirmed. Personally, I see this as more of an experiment at this point, even if a few more store open with this format.

* Amazon is obsessed with the last-mile(s), in particular on same-day delivery. (Witness their last earnings report.) I'd look at this store as a test-bed for last-mile/same-day... Perhaps they'll double or triple the size of the Amazon Fresh areas over what we see now in Whole Foods, for example.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodland_Hills,_Los_Angeles#Po...

This is one of their requirements for Grocery Associate

"You are comfortable working in a physical environment. You have the ability to lift up to 49 pounds and be on your feet for a shift, up to 10 hours at a time with or without reasonable accommodation"

They sure don't sugar coat it.

"We are hiring for full-time, part-time, and flex-time positions. Pay starts at $15.35 per hour with benefits available."

At least they have benefits.

From what I've seen, that's perfectly normal for any kind of job description anywhere in that ballpark. You see similar things if you look up job descriptions at UPS.

That sounds like a typical retail job. Up to 10 hours doesn't mean it will be normal, it just means they might ask you to work over when your typically flaky co-workers don't show up.

Not sure why there's so many comments on the $15.35 per hour. LA changed their minimum wage to rise towards $15/hr back in 2015.

In Seattle (where there's speculation on a similar grocery store in Cap Hill https://www.geekwire.com/2019/amazon-confirms-amazon-go-team...) minimum wage in 2020 will range from 13.50-16.39/hour ( https://www.seattle.gov/Documents/Departments/LaborStandards... )

It's still unreasonable to live on $15/hour in any major US city.

Because of zoning and anti-development policies by the government.

Some people making $15/hour will get lucky and get subsidized or “affordable” housing though and be able to live on that. Or they’re living with their parents.

Maybe if you define major as Seattle, New York, or other similarly expensive cities. Places like Jacksonville FL or Columbus OH, both of which are larger and more populous than San Francisco, $15/hr is pretty reasonable for a job with minimal education or experience requirements. A household with two income earners will spend less than a week's combined income on an apartment for example (which is easily under $1000/month either place).

What do you mean unreasonable? Does a blanket statement like this really apply to every major US city? I see multiple apartments for $800 or less in LA, SF and Seattle on an apartment search site.

Health benefits for full time employees are not optionally legally.

$15/hr with benefits (before any raises/promotions) across 2 people is higher than the median household income in Broward County, Florida.


This store is in LA, not Broward County, Florida.

I guess they could commute from there and take advantage of high wages in LA and low cost of living in Florida.

It can be a better wage than the median somewhere, and still be inadequate.

It says benefits available, not the price of those benefits.

Or the coverage...

How is this relevant?

I'm not sure what is notable here.

That is 50.3% higher wage than Northern Virginia area (Very high COL) grocery stores for exactly the same work requirements. Saw a job offer go out literally this afternoon for $10/hr starting at Giant in Loudoun county.

Target in my area (NoVA) starts at $13. Most places are the same, including whole foods. Whatever you saw is not the norm.

Again, not sure what the quibble is about. Amazon is paying higher than average for the same job

This is irrelevant because it's minimum wage where the job is posted.

I worked a 34 hour shift one time at a grocery store. Because of staffing issues, work hours can be quite chaotic. Didn't even get overtime for that shift though I did later in the week when I went over 40 hours total.

The CA law is 1.5x for the 8th-12th hour and 2x for the 12th hour plus [0]. Federally overtime is only required for non-exempt employees working more than 40hours a week, but other states have shift limiting laws as well.


It was nice when I moved to California and started getting paid time and a half on Sundays, though I think that was by union contract rather than by law. It was eye opening to work in the same industry but in a "right to work" state and California.

> I think that was by union contract rather than by law.

Time and a half on sundays is not CA state law.

Source -- A guy that recently programmed overtime rules into a computer system.

Curious, 49 pounds seems like an odd choice of upper bound. Does some regulatory/legal thing kick in once somebody is required to lift 50 pounds?

Looks exactly like an Aldi's job ad.

"...without reasonable accommodation" suggests Amazon has moved beyond testing regulatory constraints, to openly challenging them. I'm someone who always reaches for Hanlon's Razor first, but I can't see how any business with more than a few hundred employees could be so brazenly ignorant and naive as to willfully assume the liability of literally quoting ADA's "reasonable accommodation" in a job ad as something they're intentionally planning to not care about complying with.

The "with or without" phrasing is standard and means that employees can have reasonable accommodations if they need to aid them in their job, but that the requirement is a core function and it will not be considered reasonable to modify the requirement itself. This is standard in all job ads.

This is standard text I’ve seen in hundreds of IT support job ads too. Nothing nefarious.

It says “with or without”.

I hope it’s doesn't copy “Amazon Basics”. Cus that stuff is worse than no frills brands. It’s okay for things where you have to actively sabotage something to make it poorly like wire shelves or something, but anything where cheapness shows up it’s like a cheap suit from J.C. Penney’s. <<shudder>>

I imagine it'll end up like Walmart did! First you get: "Here's our pretty good priced national brand stuff!" Then eventually you get "Our national brand stuff is well priced, but you can save some cash if you get our Equate brand stuff!" and eventually, "Here's our Equate stuff for the price you can get the national brand stuff for elsewhere if it's on sale."

On the other hand, buying toilet paper at whole foods sucks.

(maybe that will change - post amazon, I noticed whole foods selling cheerios)

Are they carrying proper OTC medicines now? I don’t even bother looking because it’s mostly herbal and pseudo medicines. I just want some freaking cold medcine but noooo it’s gotta be “natural”.

The one near us has ibuprofen now, and they don’t look at you like you’re killing the planet for asking for it.

Not the ones I’ve been to recently.

it could be worse, they could stock it with "co-mingled" products from their site

Amazon Basics USB C cables are some of the best. Just sayin'.

This should be interesting. I’m sure they learned some things from the Whole Foods acquisition that should allow them to be competitive with Walmart and friends. Has amazon ever done well with any sort of B&M?

Nothing's going to be left of retail except pet foods, Michael's and services like haircuts clinics.


My only question is will these damn stores be out in the open with cameras recording everyone that walks by or will they be inside four walls?

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