Amazon Has Paris On Its Mind, Looks To Open Physical Stores

Fresh off its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Amazon is eyeing further retail expansion — this time in Paris, France.

According to a news report published on French news site Le Monde, Amazon is interested in opening roughly 15 physical stores in the French economy, with a particular interest in Paris. The unsourced report said the company aims to open the stores over the next two years, with inspiration from its noncash Amazon Go concept stores currently in testing in Seattle, Washington.  

Amazon Go is a prototype grocery store, the first of which opened in December of last year, enabling customers to make purchases without the need for a cashier.

The company has also reportedly reached out to French retail distributors to ink partnerships and make mergers and/or acquisitions (M&A) in the country. The Le Monde report noted Amazon also reached out to The Casino Group, expressing interest in its Monoprix unit, but Casino wasn’t keen to sell it.   

“They have canvassed all the world but have not received positive feedback,” a dealer said, according to the Le Monde report. “Amazon wants to get closer to a retailer to take advantage of its buying capacity that [Amazon] do[es] not have for the moment, and for the customer’s knowledge we [retailers] have with our stores. We see the interest in Amazon, but ours is less obvious. Amazon is not our friend: In the end, their goal is to eat us and we are not going to open the door to them and give them the menu.”

The report noted Amazon is also on the hunt for partnerships or M&A in the U.K. and that it approached The Morrisons supermarket operator there. Without getting any love from retail distributors, the company is changing tactics and looking to open its own stores, according to Le Monde. The report pointed to a news story from the Sunday Times back in February which stated Amazon was looking for locations to launch Amazon Go in London.