Amazon has not been shy in recent years about its intentions to own the local retail experience from just about every angle. Last year’s acquisition of Whole Foods was just the latest of many tactics in their quest to become your all-in-one source for just about anything you want, anything you want it. Couple that with Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Fresh Pickup, Amazon Go, and Amazon brick and mortar bookstores, they’ve already made it so you never have to leave your house for what you need.
It would be foolish, however, to assume that Amazon is done gobbling up competitors in order to turn them into new arms of their ever-growing operation. And the next arm to be added to their retail octopus might, in fact, be Target, according to Loup Venture co-founder Gene Munster.
Per Bloomberg, this well-admired technology analyst sees Target as the ideal company for Jeff Bezos’ next conquest, giving them even more of a foothold in the grocery world but also turning a rival retailer into an asset.
“Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count. Getting the timing on this is difficult, but seeing the value of the combination is easy.”
And if that sounds a bit like Amazon moving one step closer to taking over the world and that concerns you, Munster reminds you that there’s another group of people who like the sound of that. Here’s what he said in a recent Bloomberg Radio interview.
“Investors would view this as Amazon taking over the world and that’s a good thing.”
Of course, this remains speculation for now, but there’s a lot of logic in it. Amazon has been testing out shopping concepts in recent years that move beyond what customers buy online. Amazon Fresh Pickup is an ideal complimentary service that they could integrate into Target stores easily. Customers would be able to order their groceries online, drive to the local fulfillment center (or Target), pop the trunk, let someone load shopping bags into the car for them, and then drive off. You could also imagine a lot of integration between Whole Foods products and Target as well as combining the two companies’ fulfillment and logistics operations to make them run even smoother.
It’s also worth remembering that predicting which company Amazon will buy next has become something of a sport for tech and business experts. DA Davidson analyst Tom Forte said that Lululemon might be their next acquisition, while Citigroup analyst Paul Lejuez recently called out Abercrombie & Fitch, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kroger, and Advance Auto Parts among a slew of companies ripe to be snatched up into Amazon’s empire.