THE BLOG
08/31/2016 03:21 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is Amazon Planning a Grocery Store?

2016-08-30-1472517272-4241456-NonFeatureAmazonSeattleProjectXGroceryStorePhotoNorthCharlestonFlickr.jpg

Rumors of a brick-and-mortar Amazon grocery store sprouting up on the West Coast have been floating around for a while now. With two almost-confirmed openings in the Greater Bay Area, it looks like a third could be headed to Seattle.

Both GeekWire and Forbes are pointing to building permits filed in Seattle for a 10,000-square-foot space dedicated to preordered groceries (or ordered via tablet once you arrive). The permit application, which calls the store Project X, describes it like this:

"When placing an online order, customers will schedule a specific 15-minute to two-hour pick up window. Peak time slots will sell out, which will help manage traffic flow within the customer parking adjacent to the building. When picking up purchased items, customers can either drive into a designated parking area with eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars or they can walk into the retail area to pick up their items. Customers will also be able to walk into the retail room to place orders on a tablet. Walk in customers will have their products delivered to them in the retail room."

Amazon hasn't confirmed that these are indeed its stores, but the evidence is mounting. The bigger question is whether or not Amazon can successfully break into the supermarket, er, market beyond what it has done with AmazonFresh. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is giving Amazon a run for its money by expanding its presence on the West Coast with its discount store, 365 by Whole Foods.