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Amazon to Launch Convenience Stores

NEW YORK — Inc. is moving into the brick-and-mortar world with plans to open convenience stores and curbside pickup locations, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

The small stores would offer produce, meats, milk and other perishable items. Customers could also order items with longer shelf lives, such as peanut butter and cereal, for same-day delivery.

The retailer also plans to introduce designated drive-in locations where online grocery orders will be brought directly to a customer's car, according to sources familiar with the company. Amazon is developing technology that reads license plates in order to speed up this process.

The brick-and-mortar stores, which are referred to inside the company as Project Como, are currently planned exclusively for members of its Fresh subscription service. Fresh, which offers same-day food delivery at set times, recently converted to a $15 monthly fee instead of its previous $299 annual membership. The monthly membership is available to members of Amazon's $99 Prime delivery service.

The stores are aimed at consumers who like to pick up produce or bring home groceries on the way home from work.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the development of the stores and pick-up business.

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