Amazon tipped to expand Whole Foods stores across the US

Amazon is planning to expand its physical store presence throughout the US in a big way, a new report claims, by building new Whole Foods destinations. The alleged business plan will put more people within the coverage range for Amazon's two-hour delivery service, the sources claim. The Internet giant has reportedly already scoped out multiple potential retail spaces for the expansion.

Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year for around $13.5 billion, soon after adding perks for Prime customers and offering some of its own hardware products in the grocery stores. The WSJ reports much bigger plans, though, citing sources who claim Amazon will be building and expanding Whole Foods stores around the US.

The expansion is reportedly a way to increase the number of potential customers who could utilize Amazon's two-hour delivery service, likewise making Whole Foods stores available to a larger number of shoppers than presently covered. The company has allegedly already assessed potential new destinations in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming.

Of the alleged potential retail spaces, at least one was around 45,000sqft, the report claims, which would make it a bit larger than existing normal Whole Foods destinations. The extra space wouldn't be used to offer a larger shopping area, the sources claim, but rather offer space for housing delivery goods and orders arranged for pickup.

In its present form, Amazon's two-hour delivery service Prime Now is available in around 60 cities, and about half as many regions give Whole Foods customers the option to pickup their groceries in half an hour. Assuming the report is correct, Amazon hopes to expand the service to all of its hundreds of Whole Foods stores, taking on existing grocery stores and convenience shops at an unprecedented level.