Amazon Fresh Continues Takeover of SoCal

Almost half of company’s grocery stores will be located in region
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Amazon Fresh Opens in Northern Virginia; Prepares 3 More Stores in Region
Once all three stores are open, there will be 14 Amazon Fresh locations in Southern California and 30 stores across the country.

Amazon is continuing to target Southern California for growth of the Amazon Fresh banner with the opening of three new grocery stores in the area. The Mission Viejo location (26940 Crown Valley Parkway) opens April 21, the La Verne location (2229 Foothill Boulevard) will open on April 28, and the Murrieta location (40481 Murrieta Hot Springs Road) will open on May 5. All three stores are approximately 35,000 square feet.

Once all three locations are open, there will be 30 Amazon Fresh stores across the country, with 14 locations in southern California alone. The first Amazon Fresh grocery store debuted August 2020 in Southern California in Woodland Hills.

In an interview with Progressive Grocer earlier in the year, Jeff Helbling, VP of Amazon Fresh, said that the Amazon grocery store experiment has been a big success so far.

“Our efforts to evolve our grocery experience into a seamless omnichannel offering have been well received by customers — and the industry,” he said. 

Amazon touts that its grocery stores are helping support local communities by creating hundreds of high-quality jobs, offering a starting wage of $16.40 per hour, and donating surplus food to local food banks.

Like other locations, the three new SoCal stores will offer Just Walk Out Shopping, giving customers the option to skip the checkout line. Customers who opt for Just Walk Out Shopping can enter the store by scanning the In-Store QR code in their Amazon app, using Amazon One, or inserting a credit or debit card to open the Just Walk Out gates. Once inside the store, customers can shop like normal. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. At the end of their trip, customers shopping with the Just Walk Out experience simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit.

All Amazon Fresh stores boast low prices on products like Amazon-exclusive brands, including newly launched Fresh Plant-Based products, and a range of prepared foods made fresh in store every day — from fresh-baked bread and made-to-order pizzas to rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches. Some local and regional brands featured in the SoCal stores include Pizza Port Brewing, CoolHaus Ice Cream, Rockenwagner Bakery, Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda.

To celebrate the new stores, the company is hosting festivities throughout opening weekend, including gift card giveaways, free samples and special discounts. Shoppers can also take advantage of a coupon found in their weekly circular for $10 off an order of $20 or more. Customers may use the paper coupon at the Just Walk Out exit or at the traditional checkout.

Other recently opened Amazon Fresh locations include northern Virginia, Seattle and Illinois.  

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is No. 26 on PG’s list.

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