TechCrunch reports that Amazon plans to open a series of pop-up stores in a number of Whole Foods around the country where it will not just sell its proprietary hardware - the Echo, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers, etc… - but also will provide employees who can educate shoppers about the items as well as about the advantages of Amazon Prime, streaming videos, Subscribe & Save, and more.

The story points out that “The new store launches will also arrive just ahead of Amazon’s big Black Friday sales season, which will include discounts on its own consumer electronics, like $20 off the Echo Dot, $20 off the all-new Amazon Echo, $30 off the new Echo Plus, $30 off Kindle Paperwhite, $20 off the new Amazon Cloud Cam, $20 off Fire 7 tablet, and $30 off Fire HD 8 tablet.”

KC's View: It is clear that Amazon is trying to do several things here. First of all, it makes sense to capitalize on these 400+ locations to which it did not have access just a year ago, and see if they can move the needle in terms of both hardware sales and sign-ups for Prime, which continues to be a core priority.

But it also makes sense to start to draw connections between how customers interact with Whole Foods and with Amazon, figuring out ways to target them more effectively and drive behavior. I would expect that if this works in a limited holiday test, you’ll see more of these installations in more Whole Foods stores down the line .,.. and you probably won’t have to wait until the 2018 holiday season.