Fresh groceries, flying delivery drones, and now … wholesale deliveries? Online retail magnate Amazon is reportedly opening an online wholesale store called Pantry, potentially firing a shot across the bow of warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club in 2014.
Aimed at Amazon Prime members, Pantry would launch with about 2,000 products and let shoppers pack them (virtually) into a box with a preset size and weight limit. Products would include the sort of goods normally found in grocery stores, like pet food and cleaning supplies, and would be shipped for a fee. Should USA Today’s report hold true, Pantry’s potential convenience could prove to be a thorn in the side of brick and mortar outlets.
Provided Amazon figures out a way to keep costs low. A trip to Costco may require getting off the couch, but buying a hefty supply of paper towel rolls has to date proven more cost effective there than trying to buy them online or at the local supermarket. That said, Amazon has been expanding its warehouse network relentlessly and recently made its Amazon Fresh same-day grocery delivery service available in parts of San Francisco. If the convenience of ordering online is paired with a sensible, competitive pricing model, Amazon might just have a winner — and usher in a bold new age of indolence.