Amazon.com (AMZN) apparently is going straight to major food and consumer packaged goods makers like Mondelez (MDLZ) and General Mills (GIS) to say they don’t need the likes of Walmart (WMT) or Target (TGT) anymore.
The online retailer has invited those and other companies to a three day summit at its Seattle headquarters to make their case for selling directly to shoppers and bypassing the big box stores altogether, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing an invitation to the gathering the news agency obtained.
Amazon did not respond to a request from Fortune for confirmation and comment.
Bloomberg reported that the executives will get a tour of an Amazon fulfillment center and get a pitch from Worldwide Consumer chief Jeff Wilke, a top executive who reports directly to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
The move represents a major new challenge to retailers like Walmart, Target and Costco Wholesale (COST) as they look to hang onto shoppers’ business at a time much of it is migrating online. Walmart, for one, has bet heavily that building up its grocery pickup infrastructure is a key way to combat Amazon, which this week announced its own food pick up effort.
“Times are changing,” Amazon writes in the invitation obtained by Bloomberg. “Amazon strongly believes that supply chains designed to serve the direct-to-consumer business have the power to bring improved customer experiences and global efficiency. To achieve this requires a major shift in thinking.”
The invitation comes at a time chains like Target and Walmart are reportedly putting even more pressure on vendors to change package size and design and offer exclusive variations on their product as they struggle to standout. The challenge for Amazon is to break the stranglehold of big box retailers on foods and packaged goods. But as more and more customers shop online for staples, an area with still low e-commerce penetration, Amazon will likely become a more attractive partner.