The Future Of The Supermarket: Fresh Is King
by Lijie Zhu, Forbes
Posted: 2018-02-15 15:33:49 EST

E-commerce is disrupting the arena of the traditional supermarket industry. Old moguls, like Walmart and Costco, have initiated their own online businesses to survive this seismic shift. Walmart's net sales from e-commerce grew 60% and 50% in Q2 and Q3 of 2017 respectively, while total sales grew just 1.8% and 2.7% over the same periods. It seems that the traditional supermarket industry will migrate to the internet, leaving physical stores to decay in their tombs.

So, will online shopping completely replace traditional physical stores in the supermarket industry? The answer is a big no.

Online shopping cannot solve immediate needs. Even e-commerce giants are seeking physical stores to organically integrate the online shopping and offline experience. Amazon has been trying to make a dent in the $668.68 billion grocery industry. It began to dabble in the grocery business in 2007 as it started its own grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh. In December 2016, Amazon revealed the concept for its first physical grocery store, Amazon Go. The idea is to let consumers walk in, pick up items and then pay for them without ever standing in line at a cashier. To step further into physical retail, Amazon bought Whole Foods Market in a blockbuster deal worth $13.7 billion.

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