Matt Weinberger/Business Insider
Amazon has become synonymous with online shopping.
But the online giant is increasingly moving into the physical world, opening spaces in malls, shopping districts, and even local strip malls. It’s a move that signals the company’s ambitions are larger than ecommerce.
One reason that may be, an anonymous source told CNBC, is that Amazon is seeing online sales go up in areas that have physical stores. Brick-and-mortar stores increase customer awareness of the brand, and it’s extra fuel for the Amazon engine.
Here are all the ways that Amazon has expanded into the physical world so far.
It acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Kate Taylor/Business Insider
Amazon’s acquisition of natural foods store Whole Foods is the big one to mention here.
Whole Foods was already a national chain with more than 450 stores, but with the power of Amazon behind it, it has the potential to be something even larger. Changes like selling the Amazon Echo, installing Amazon Lockers, and lowering prices are all already under way.
It struck a partnership with Kohl’s, where it will be selling Amazon devices and accepting returns.
Kohl’s will start accepting Amazon returns at 82 stores in Chicago and Los Angeles in October.
The returns will be free, and they won’t need to be packaged before drop-off.
Ten stores will also feature an “Amazon smart home experience” with a separate section selling Amazon devices like the Echo.
It introduced an updated version of the vending machine.
Amazon also has a line of bookstores for college campuses, which it operates in conjunction with each school.
In addition to offering books and supplies for students, it also has a special Amazon Locker device service called Amazon Instant, where attendants stuff items from the store into the slots, ready to be picked up by customers in a way that’s similar to a vending machine.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider