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Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky Hints at New Retail Formats to Come for Whole Foods

Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky Hints at New Retail Formats to Come for Whole Foods

Monday, October 30th, 2017

On the heels of a stellar financial quarter, word on the street is a potential array of new store formats for both Amazon and its newly-acquired Whole Foods chain are in the works. In a call with investors, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky addressed plans to test out new concepts in brick and mortar retail, but will these enter the world of grocery in the vein of Whole Foods? So far, the word is mum.

Brian Olsavsky, Chief Financial Officer, Amazon

“We think we'll also be developing new store formats and everything else just as we've talked about in the past with before Whole Foods, [A]mazon Bookstores, Amazon Go, and the opportunity that technology presents,” said Olsavsky, according to The Motley Fool. “So we're experimenting with a lot of formats.”

“A lot of formats,” obviously doesn’t tell us much, but it does lend us a look into what the future might hold. If you happened to look at Amazon’s financial report last week, you may have seen a section referred to as the ‘physical stores’ revenue segment, which notably brought home $1.3 billion for the company and included sales from Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods. But if you ask source Motley Fool, the fact this section was highlighted signifies that Amazon will not be slowing up on brick and mortar retail anytime soon.


"[T]hat class of revenue, physical stores revenue, is going to be where we are going to book any sales that where a customer physically select[s] an item in a store," CFO Brian Olsavsky said, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence transcript. "So it also—it does include our Amazon Books.”

While Amazon Books is one potential format, Olsavsky also said he could neither confirm or deny rumors of an Amazon pharmacy format, reports The Street. On top of these two prospects, Amazon has previously unveiled plans to grow its AmazonFresh Pickup, and checkout-less Amazon Go formats. But as of now, little information has been announced on what new formats Whole Foods will bring to the table. Whole Foods had been slowly rolling out its 365 by Whole Foods Market warehouse-style format prior to its acquisition. But what’s next?

Whole Foods storefront

"Whole Foods really gives us a fast head start on that and a great base and a great team to work with who has a lot of history and 10-20 years of learnings that we don't have and wouldn't have" in physical retail, Olsavsky continued during the call. "Working together will bring out different strengths to the table.”

As we keep trying to piece together this puzzle from Amazon and Olsavsky, Deli Market News will continue to keep you in the loop on what big moves we can expect from the retail behemoth.


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