E-commerce behemoth Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) continues to cultivate its brick-and-mortar footprint. It was reported Wednesday that the company had submitted winning bids for leases on two New Jersey grocery stores. The locations, previously part of the region's well-recognized (and now bankrupt) Fairway Market chain, could be rebranded as either Whole Foods Markets or as supermarket-size versions of its Amazon Go convenience stores, which are cashierless operations that feature grab-and-go foods.
Fairway Market filed for Chapter 11 in January, aiming to continue doing business while it sought buyers for its assets. Rather than selling all of its real estate, leases, and business name as a package, Fairway parcelled out its various store locations to make its components collectively easier to sell.
The tactic worked. While Amazon was able to secure two New Jersey locations, its bids for two New York stores were topped by offers from another supermarket operator.
Still, two additional stores is another step forward for the technology giant's grocery ambitions, which it isn't rushing.
The first Amazon Go store was opened for business in early 2018, and only a couple dozen have been established since. The first (ad so far, the only) full-sized Amazon Go grocery store was opened in Seattle last month. The company has suggested it could open as many as 3,000 full-sized cashierless grocery stores, however, based on the same technology and supply chain that supports its smaller grab-and-go operations.