Amazon already sells pretty much anything you could ever need and offers some of the best discounts on earth, but now the company may be expanding into the big box business to take on the likes of Costco and Walmart’s Sam’s Club. USA Today reports that Amazon is preparing to launch Pantry, a warehouse-style online retail service, citing three anonymous insiders.
Pantry will reportedly only be available to Amazon Prime members, and is being run by the company’s senior manager in vendor management and consumables, Billy Hegeman. The new service is apparently set to launch in 2014, initially offering 2,000 products including cleaning supplies, some beverages, and non-perishable food. Orders will be limited by weight and the size of a Pantry box, and shipped with a minimal fee.
The new service will likely be integrated into Amazon’s network of shipping facilities, which it calls “fulfillment centers,” with at least four locations in particular earmarked to help launch Pantry. The decision to ship each order in a single box will also give the company an edge over its more-established competition by cutting down on costs. If this rumor becomes a reality it could pose a serious threat to the big box store business, and we wonder how companies like Costco and Walmart will respond.