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Amazon’s new supermarket will be drive-thru only

Amazon is set to open a 9,700 sq ft drive-thru supermarket in its home town of Seattle, according to media reports.

The model would enable customers to place orders online and pick them up in a designated 15-minute to two-hour window, USA Today claimed.

The store is understood to be a pick-up only operation with no food aisles. Walk-in customers will be able to order from electronic tablets and then wait in the “retail room” for their groceries, according to the paper.

The operation was designed to be “super efficient” and could well process orders in as little as 30 minutes, retail food consultant Roger Davidson of the Oakton Advisory Group told the media outlet.

Rumours of a drive-thru model have circulated since last year, but Amazon’s application for a liquor license in the 9,700 sq ft Seattle building earlier this month added further weight to the speculation.

The rumours come shortly after the online giant unveiled its checkout-free Amazon Go c-store in Seattle, which is currently in testing mode. Earlier this month, it was reported to be on the hunt for London sites that could become Amazon Go stores.

The rumoured drive-thru format also has the potential to cross the Atlantic. The big four have gradually upped their click & collect services over the past few years, with Sainsbury’s planning to have 200 sites by May, and last year analyst Bernstein said click & collect could be one way of making online grocery match in-store profits.

Amazon declined to comment on the rumours.