Amazon has taken a huge bite out of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers like Walmart – so much so that Walmart just announced its own Prime-like free shipping subscription service. However, it seems the online retailer is moving backwards by wading even further into brick-and-mortar territory. CEO Jeff Bezos told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting this week that they’re planning on opening up even more retail stores.
Amazon plans more brick-and-mortar stores
Amazon dipped its toe into the brick-and-mortar world last year when it opened its first physical location in Seattle. Then it continued to wade in, adding a pickup facility for consumers at the University of Pennsylvania. Bezos said this week that these efforts will continue and that they don’t know just how many more retail stores they will open, reports The Wall Street Journal. He said that at least for now, their expansion efforts in the brick-and-mortar arena are experimental and “all about learning, rather than trying to earn a lot of revenue.”
The online retailer is currently planning to open some small pop-up kiosks and an Amazon Books location in California.
More Prime services to be added
Bezos also said they plan to add a lot more services to their Prime Service, which currently costs $99 per year and offers free shipping on many items to subscribers. The Amazon CEO didn’t offer a lot of details on exactly what they are planning to add to Prime, although he did say that they want to make consumers feel that they’re “being irresponsible” by not signing up. One possibility is the addition of private-label food, which The Wall Street Journal said earlier this week Amazon is planning to introduce and offer only to members of its Prime service.
Also at this week’s shareholder meeting, the online retailer’s investors rejected three shareholder proposals. One dealt with disclosures about political contributions, the second was related to the company’s human rights record, and the third dealt with Amazon’s efforts in the area of environmental sustainability. The online retailer had advised shareholders to vote against the proposals.
Shares of Amazon declined 0.12% to $694.46 during regular trading hours on Wednesday.