Amazon bets on Thanksgiving – boom or bust?

Amazon online delivery

As grocery sales start to shift online, Amazon’s latest move was offering quick grocery delivery from Whole Food’s stores in Chicago and other cities until 2 pm on Thursday. A move that will pay off? 

My chips, no pun intended, are on yes. Coupling last minute convenience with what can be an arduous meal prep process solves a problem for many. However, even if it only solves a problem for a sliver of holiday meal-makers, the move still pays off given the tremendous market opportunity that is grocery.

For many years, grocery has lagged the online purchasing trend, albeit not without a solid attempt by start-ups such as WebVan and Blue Apron. What seems to have shifted between then and now is market readiness and of course, Amazon’s prevailing move into Grocery last year, a signal louder than a foghorn and with a wake longer than a cargo ship.

Included in that wake, we’ve observed the following: 

  • Target announces a $550 mn acquisition of grocery-delivery start-up Shipt Inc.

  • Instacart, which uses contract workers to roam Super Market aisles, announces $600mn in new funding

  • Deliv, same-day retail delivery service provider, announces a $40 mn round

  • Walmart announces it’s expanding curbside grocery pick up to 3,100 stores in the months ahead while experimenting with automated picking ad packing of grocery orders

All signs of retailers readiness to adapt and consumers readiness to adopt.

So, Amazon’s bet on thanksgiving – boom or bust? My bets are on boom.