By Erika Aguilar |Staff Writer|
Amazon will be experimenting with a new pilot program while continuing to expand its business in the U.S. by planning to open 20,000 grocery stores within the next decade.
The pilot program consists of opening 20 grocery stores at locations including, Seattle, New York, Las Vegas, Miami and the Bay Area, according to Business Insider.
Amazon will also be testing out two different concepts during its program.
Ten of the grocery stores will be “click and collect” which will allow customers to shop online and schedule a time to pick up their items at the store, according to Fortune news.
“I think the ‘click and collect’ concept is pretty good for someone who has a disability and can’t do regular shopping because the company makes it easier for them to get their items,” said student Kayla Hernandez.
The second concept will be similar to standard shopping but will involve new technology such as using license-plate scanning or in-store kiosks to make the drive-through and pick-up faster.
“The new technology would make a great impact on shoppers since it will give them more time to have a family outing rather than shopping at a grocery store for an hour or so and still having to wait in a long line afterwards,” said student Ariana Prieto.
“This concept is very interesting, but I feel like it would be the same as what they already have going online; The only advantage to that would be if people want their groceries at an exact time,” said student Karina Calderon.
In order to place an online order, customers must schedule a 15 minute to two hour pick-up time.
Once the customers are ready to pick up their items, they can choose one of the eight parking stalls where the purchased items will be delivered to their cars.
Three to five workers will be in charge of delivering orders and the expected wait time will be approximately five minutes.
If the pilot program becomes a success, then the company will continue to open more stores.
Amazon is also concerned whether or not to make the stores accessible to the public or only to the members of Prime Fresh, who pay a $15 monthly fee to receive grocery deliveries.
If the stores are open to the public, the membership requirement could be excluded and thus will help attract more customers, according to Business Insider.
On the contrary, if the stores become open to Prime Fresh members only, then the membership fees will be used to help balance the high costs of grocery stores, according to Business Insider.
“If the company doesn’t care about making money then it should be open for the public because it would probably draw for people to buy more stuff than say those who only have the Prime membership,” said Hernandez.
“Having a drive through sounds wonderful, as long as they run smoothly and schedule each customer pick up accordingly, the same would go for the walk through,” said Prieto.
The 20 test locations for the pilot program are expected to open by 2018 to see how the two store concepts can impact Amazon’s company.