Amazon is planning to move beyond online retail and open a physical store in the US, according to a recent report. Planning documents spotted by the Silicon Valley Business Journal reveal a new drive-up store concept in California that apparently stems from the e-commerce giant.
The city of Sunnyvale planning documents do not list a tenant name but industry sources familiar with Amazon's plans reportedly revealed it was developing the drive-up store to allow customers to order items online and schedule a pick-up at the store.
The documents describe "a blended customer shopping experience, as it leverages both an online shopping platform and the traditional brick-and-mortar retail experience".
The Sunnyvale plans feature a 11,600sq ft warehouse with eight vehicle spaces at collection spots, as well as a smaller store location that could be used for customers who want to buy items without first ordering them online.
Industry experts have said the potential store fits in with a new retail model emerging that combines the efficiency of online with the benefits of physical stores.
"We are seeing the emergence of the next generation of the food distribution system," Bill Bishop, chief architect at retail and e-commerce consultancy firm Brick Meets Click, told the Business Journal. "This gives [Amazon] a way to avoid the cost and complexity of going to individual households, though that's probably still on the docket."
It is thought the store could be an expansion of the company's AmazonFresh service, which offers same day and next-day grocery deliveries. Amazon is yet to respond to a request for comment from IBTimes UK.