By: Nick Gambino
In the latest “Amazon is trying to take over the world” news, the company has announced the opening of an Amazon Fresh grocery store in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of LA.
“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,” Jeff Helbing, Amazon Fresh Stores VP, said 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.”
The impressive 35,000 square feet will house a ton of grocery store items, many of which you’ll find in your typical supermarket. They’ll offer items like Oreos and Coke and a bunch of other less-than-healthy options that you wouldn’t find in their other grocery store, Whole Foods.
And that’s important. It looks like they are opening these Amazon Fresh stores as a direct competitor to supermarket chains that Whole Foods doesn’t really go up against. The store chain they bought 3 years ago is kind of specialized. They sell organic, health-conscious foods at prices that can’t exactly be called cheap. This was never going to allow Amazon to dominate the grocery store market. A plethora of Amazon Fresh stores on the other hand, stand a chance in the supermarket wars.
The Woodland Hills store includes a few high-tech touches to make it stand out. They’ve incorporated Dash Carts, tech-infused shopping carts that let you check out based on what you put in your cart, so you don’t have to wait in line for a cashier or self-checkout counter.
They’ve also included a number of voice-activated Echo Show kiosks around the store to help you out. This means you can ask questions like “Alexa, where can I find the mayo?” and get an answer in an instant. This is a feature I wish they had in every store larger than 500 square feet.
We should see the Amazon Fresh store open to the general public in the next few weeks. For now, only select customers are receiving an invite.