Amazon Eyes Germany For Brick-And-Mortar Locations

Germany — Amazon’s second-biggest market after the U.S. — could be getting physical stores, Reuters reported on Saturday (Jan. 4).

Amazon’s German head was quoted in a local newspaper as saying the eCommerce giant is aware that its customer base has needs that go beyond what is presently offered.

“The fact is that we know that customers shop offline and that they like variety,” Ralf Kleber told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, according to Reuters. He did not offer any information about when a brick-and-mortar store could happen. 

Kleber told the paper that it slashed Echo Dot prices as a way to advance adoption, with plans of encouraging shopping with Alexa.

Amazon is no stranger to running physical stores, with numerous outlets in the U.S. and Britain including subsidiary Whole Foods and cashierless Amazon Go. Amazon also has pop-up stores at select locations, book stores and 4-Star, which offers a curated selection of top-selling Amazon items.

All told, there are 479 Whole Foods Markets, 11 Amazon Go convenience stores, 18 Amazon Books stores, three Amazon 4-Star outlets, four “Presented by Amazon” mall kiosks, and five Amazon Pop-Up sites, according to Supermarket News. Whole Foods Market opened its 500th store in Atlanta in April.

Last year, RBC Capital Markets estimated that Amazon Go’s average annual sales at each of its nine stores would hit $1.5 million Amazon Go stores. A Bloomberg report in 2018 indicated that Amazon could open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021.

In September, Amazon said it was planning to start hiring delivery drivers in Germany as it ramps up its logistics arm, with plans to open 11 more distribution centers in the country. 

Amazon entered Germany in 2015, and it is now its second-largest market. The push is part of the retail giant’s plan to build its own land, sea and air logistics operation to help contain shipping costs.