Amazon appears ready to build new grocery stores in the Philadelphia region, the latest signal of how the e-commerce operator wants to grab more of the food retail market.
The company is eyeing three locations in that area for its food retail concept, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. The stores would be less like an Amazon Go — which resembles a convenience store — and more like a traditional grocery store.
Amazon is looking at “two sites in Bucks County and at least one in Center City, with the goal of opening them by the end of the year,” the report said, adding that other retailers have left those sites. The publication noted that the recent food retail entrants in the region include Lidl and Aldi, while “existing retailers such as Giant Co. and Wawa have been adding locations.”
Amazon offered no immediate comment.
Earlier in July, news emerged that Amazon panned to open new grocery locations in Seattle, California, and the Chicago and Washington, D.C., areas. Some of the new stores will reportedly feature conventional checkout experiences.
According to an Amazon website, however, a new Amazon Go store planned for Redmond, Wash., in the Seattle area, will apparently have cashierless checkout technology. “Never wait in line to check out again,” Amazon teased on that website. Such a checkout-free process relies on sensors such as cameras to determine what consumers are putting into their baskets and buying, charging shoppers’ payment accounts without the need for cashiers.
As Amazon expands its grocery offerings via physical stores, it has also introduced a smart cart for use inside those locations. The Amazon Dash Cart will be available for use at its grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, slated to open later this year. The cart enables users to bypass the checkout line, and it uses a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion to identify items that a shopper puts in the cart. When the shopper exits through the Dash Cart lane in the store, sensors automatically identify the cart, and the shopper’s payment is processed using the shopper’s credit card on the shopper’s Amazon account.
The company is also expanding its delivery capabilities to reach more food and other retail customers with quicker shipments.
Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food retailers in North America.