Amazon is set to open its first ever Whole Foods “dark store” which will fulfil online orders but never open to the public.
The new online-only store opened in Brooklyn’s Industry City Complex today, and will fulfil online grocery orders for customers throughout the city.
Hundreds of new staff have been hired to work in the dark store as Amazon continues its expansion into the grocery sector.
Dark stores have become an increasingly popular method for supermarkets to expand their online capacity without exposing staff and customers to potential infection during the pandemic.
In April Sainsbury’s converted a number of its closed convenience stores into dark stores, capable of delivering orders to the surrounding areas within an hour.
It comes just a week after Amazon opened the doors to its first ever Amazon Fresh grocery store, a new larger physical grocery format focused on providing supermarket staples.
The new format is separate from both Whole Foods, which Amazon purchased in 2017, and its smaller Go convenience stores, aiming to compete directly with more traditional supermarkets.
It has built a further three Amazon Fresh stores in the US which are currently also operating as dark stores, but are expected to open to the public in the near future.