Amazon’s Retail Footprint Report Just Got Ambiguous
Despite the rapid pace at which it is growing in the retail sector after its purchase of Whole Foods stores, bookstores and Amazon Go cashier-free grocery chains and 4 star stores for daily use items, in its new annual report Amazon has declared that actual square foot space of its physical stores went down last year. This declaration was confusing for investors as they expected a large footprint in view of recent acquisition of physical stores since the filing showed that it occupied 20.1 million square feet in end of 2018 representing reduction of 6 % from last year when it was 21.3 million.
Amazon spokesperson stated that this was due to Amazon’s reporting methods in which only that store space is declared where the shops are actually open. It said that during 2018 they updated methodology to report square footage of stores wherein only physical stores that were open to customers were being taken into account and stores under development have been excluded. In the past Amazon has increased its physical retail stores and number of outlets from where customers could purchase their products like Amazon Go, Amazon Book Stores, Amazon4-Star and Whole Foods Stores.
This is a minor change for the company which is valued at $800 billion and has a massive portfolio spanning cloud computing, e-commerce, entertainment, home entertainment and home assisting devices. The firm leases and also owns nearly 288 million square feet of space that is required for running its offices and fulfillment spaces.
Amazon is also removing certain level of transparency about how it is increasing space of its physical stores. The Whole Foods chain store brand announced that it is opening at 25 new locations and its Go stores also announced that 10 new stores are opening across Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco. Amazon launched a new range of physical stores called 4 star stores which will sell assorted products that have earned 4 stars on its ecommerce platform.