WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Last month Amazon opened a new grocery store concept expanding beyond its Whole Foods Market chain as it seeks to become a major food retailer.
“Today we’re announcing the Amazon Fresh grocery store — a new grocery store designed from the ground up to offer a seamless grocery shopping experience, whether customers are shopping in-store or online,” Amazon Fresh Stores vice president Jeff Helbling wrote in a blog post. “We’ve taken our decades of operations experience to deliver consistently low prices for all, and free same-day delivery for Prime members.”
“At Amazon Fresh, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our employees and customers. Our friends at Whole Foods Market have done a fantastic job implementing comprehensive safety measures for their team members and customers, receiving recognition as a top retailer for their COVID-19 response. We’ve taken learnings from them and applied the same safety measures in Amazon Fresh: requiring daily temperature checks for all employees; requiring face coverings for all employees and customers entering the store; offering free disposable masks for any customer who wants one; and operating the store at 50% capacity,” he added.
The new store — one of seven the company is developing in Southern California and greater Chicago — is initially open by invitation only. Amazon said it plans to open the store to the general public in the coming weeks.
“Customers shopping Amazon Fresh will find a wide assortment of national brands and high-quality produce, meat and seafood. Plus, our culinary team offers customers a range of delicious prepared foods made fresh in-store every day,” Helbling said. “We’ve also introduced new ways to make grocery shopping more convenient, including the Amazon Dash Cart, which enables customers to skip the checkout line, and new Alexa features to help customers manage their shopping lists and better navigate our aisles.”
At about 35,000 square feet, the new store is significantly larger than the cashierless Amazon Go convenience stores the company has been opening in recent years. In addition to the high-tech shopping cart that tracks what customers purchase and bills them for it automatically, the store has stations that use voice technology to answer consumers’ questions, and a counter where people can pick up their online orders.