Amazon Opens Its First Full-Size Grocery Store
The new Amazon Fresh Grocery Store offers smart carts, meat and seafood counters, and traditional or cashier-less checkout.
As any Prime member can tell you, Amazon is already well into the grocery game with its Amazon Fresh delivery service and its 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods. But beyond online ordering and becoming the parent of an existing higher-end supermarket chain, Amazon has also been dabbling in new ways to shop for food altogether.
The brand introduced its Amazon Go stores in 2018, which allow shoppers to enter with a swipe of an app, pick any snacks, prepared foods, or other essentials off the shelves, then simply walk out. Cameras take care of tracking what each customer puts in their bag and automatically charges the total to their Amazon account.
And today, the brand is opening a full-scale supermarket, the first of its Amazon Fresh Grocery Stores in Woodland Hills, CA with some new technology to enhance the shopping experience.
Unlike the smaller Go model, the Fresh store will offer a broader range of products one might expect from a supermarket, the brand's announcement states.
"Our culinary team offers a range of delicious prepared foods made in-store every day—from fresh-baked bread and made-to-order pizzas, to rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches. Customers can shop a wide assortment of conventional produce, meat, and seafood, and we proudly offer 365 by Whole Foods Market organics. Plus, Amazon Fresh offers national brands like Coca-Cola and Kraft Mac and Cheese, local brands like Rockenwagner Bakery and Groundworks Coffee, regional favorites not typically found in LA like Dukes Mayo and Ellenos Yogurt, and new Amazon exclusive brands like Fresh and Cursive."
Amazon is infusing some of its other products and technology into the shopping experience as well, including Amazon Echo Show devices throughout the store and an Alexa kiosk to provide customer assistance. Shoppers can also use the store's Dash Carts, which include a built-in screen and automatic scanning of items placed inside, which also checks off their Alexa-enabled shopping list as they shop.
Check out via the Dash Cart is automatic, but traditional cashier lanes are available as well. The store will also offer pre-order curbside pickup service and serve as a delivery hub for same-day Amazon Fresh orders.
But Southern Californians shouldn't hop in their cars just yet: As of right now, the store is invite-only, with a select group receiving early access. However, the official website says the store will be "open to all in the coming weeks."