Amazon’s First Fresh Grocery Store Officially Opens

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Amazon’s first Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills, Calif. is officially welcoming “a select group of invited customers” and will open to the rest of us “in the coming weeks.”

Like traditional grocery stores, it offers produce, meat, seafood and prepared foods, along with national and local brands, as well as private label brands like Fresh, Cursive and 365 by Whole Foods Market.

In a blog post, Jeff Helbling, vice president of Amazon Fresh Stores, writes that Amazon’s “decades of operations experience” means “consistently low prices for all,” such as a 3-pound bag of onions for $1.69. (He said Amazon is “excited to provide more detail on specific prices” when the store opens to the public.)

Unlike traditional grocery, the store has an Amazon twist with in-store pickup (as well as same-day delivery), and the ability to pick up and return Amazon.com packages.

That twist also includes Echo Show devices throughout the store, which enable shoppers to ask Alexa for help finding items. And, as previously reported, the store has smart shopping carts that allow shoppers to skip checkout lines—but they only accommodate two bags.

According to Amazon, the Dash Cart uses computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items. It also features a screen where shoppers can view their Alexa shopping lists. When shoppers exit through the specified Dash Cart lane, payment is processed via the credit card associated with that shopper’s Amazon account.

Helbling said the Fresh grocery store is applying safety measures learned from “our friends at Whole Foods,” including daily temperature checks for employees, a face mask requirement and operating at 50% capacity.

Last year, Amazon confirmed the grocery concept in the L.A. suburb would be distinct from Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in 2017, and it would not be an Amazon Go store. In February, Amazon opened yet another grocery concept, an Amazon Go grocery hybrid called Amazon Go Grocery, in Seattle.


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