Amazon opened two drive-up grocery stores in Seattle and a bookstore in New York City last week, adding to a growing brick-and-mortar venture. The online retailer now has nine stores total — seven bookstores (with plans to open six more) and two grocery stores.
Why it matters: Amazon had $136b in sales last year — 43% of all online shopping. But there's a lot more money to be made in the offline retail industry. In 2016, e-commerce only made up $1.9 trillion of the $22 trillion in total retail sales, according to eMarketer, so the upside of expanding into the offline market is massive. And Amazon's experimentation in offline stores (using cameras to track customers to automatically charge for purchases and using mountains of data to track customer preferences and sales) could further disrupt retail employment — which has already been falling for four straight months.