Amazon has opened the doors to its first ever full-size grocery store in Los Angeles marking its most significant venture into physical retail to date.
Its new Amazon Fresh Store opened its doors yesterday morning to a select number of customers which it has invited from the local area, and will open to a wider audience in the coming weeks.
Seeking to differentiate its new format from its upmarket WholeFoods stores and its smaller Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Fresh will be stocked with a much wider range of supermarket staples.
The 35,000sq ft store will stock big brands like Coca-Cola and Kellogs, its own brands including Happy Belly and Cursive wine, alongside a range of organic items from WholeFoods, which it purchased in 2017.
“Whole Foods is a longstanding pioneer and leader in natural, organic and clean foods,” vice president of Amazon Fresh stores Jeff Helbling said.
“Amazon’s Fresh selection is fairly different. We see them operating next to one another and we’re excited to offer customers the choice between the two.”
While it won’t come with inbuild AI-driven cameras which can detect what shoppers’ pickup like its Amazon Go stores, Amazon Fresh still comes with a host of boundary-pushing technology.
Amazon will roll out its new automated “Dash Carts” which use computer vision and inbuilt scales to identify items and charge customers without them having to visit a cashier.
Shoppers can scan a QR code to activate their cart and link it with their Amazon profile, allowing them to access Alexa shopping lists.
Like its Amazon Go technology, the carts detect when items are added or removed from the cart and charge their accounts directly when they walk out of the store.
There will also be a number of voice-activated Echo Show displays positioned around the store, which shoppers can ask for information about item locations, or ask for recommendations about what to make for dinner.
Amazon Prime shoppers will have the option to have their groceries delivered for free and the store will have a dedicated section for customers to collect and return Amazon orders.
Further Amazon Fresh stores have been built in Irvine and Northridge in California and Naperville in Chicago, but are currently operating as “dark stores” which are not open to the public but are used to fulfil online orders.