Bloomberg has a piece about what is believed to be the first in Amazon's chain of new grocery stores, which is the process of being built in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. No opening date yet has been announced, but Bloomberg got a peek inside, and here is what it reports:
• "Numbered aisles await staples like rice, beans, pasta and canned vegetables; waist-high coolers sit between some shelves. In the back of the 33,000-square-foot space, which is about average size for a supermarket, a meat and seafood counter sits in one corner. In the other, there’s an area called “Fresh Kitchen” for prepared foods and soups. The new chain makes it possible for Amazon to stock and sell the high-volume products that the purists at Whole Foods won’t touch—things like Coca-Cola, Smucker’s jam and Tide detergent."
• "At the center of the store, long aisles of conventional-looking shelves appear to carry the digital tags that the company uses in its Amazon Books and 4-Star stores, which let the retailer quickly circulate inventory and change prices. But Amazon has said the new supermarket will not be equipped with the cashierless system from its Go convenience stores."
• "There is at least one quintessentially Amazonian touch, and a sign that the company may try to use the chain to stitch together physical and digital shopping. Near the entrance, underneath a bright orange wall and Amazon smile logo, is a window for order pickup and customer returns."
• "Plans show a staging area behind the window with what appears to be shelving, potentially for order pickups from both customers and delivery service providers, who will shuttle orders to people’s homes. A television display and whiteboard sit alongside the return counter, likely to help orchestrate the chaos of deliveries into and out of the store."
The story notes that "other sites Amazon is said to have leased in the Los Angeles area suggest a preference for repurposing existing storefronts, rather than building new ones … The company has leased a former Ralph's supermarket in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Encino. In Irvine, Amazon is renovating a former Babies R Us and last month applied for a liquor license for the space under the name 'Amazon Fresh,' the same name as the company’s grocery delivery service."
Bloomberg reported out the story here:
- KC's View:
I am as anxious as anyone to see what this store looks like, but I'll be disappointed a bit if Amazon doesn't do something in the store to change the nature of shopping. It doesn't have to have Amazon Go checkout-free technology or anything so advanced, but I hope that they do something fundamentally unique in this new space.
Otherwise, what's the point? I expect more of Amazon than just another store.