The newest Amazon Fresh in the Washington, D.C. area is now open.
The latest Amazon Fresh location opened in Franconia, Va., on May 27. The 30,000-square foot store is the first of two new openings in the Washington, D.C. region, with another Amazon Fresh planned for Chevy Chase, Md.
Consumers lined up early in anticipation of the new concept, reported Heba Zalzala, zone lead for associate experience at Amazon Fresh. “We had a line at 4:30 a.m. – it was exciting for customers and we were excited to have them,” she said, adding, “Our first team huddle was 15 minutes before we opened the doors and our team was pumped – this was what they were working for.”
Like other Amazon Fresh stores, the Franconia location includes an assortment of grocery, fresh and prepared items made more shoppable with in-store technologies like the Amazon Dash Cart that automatically scans and tracks items and Amazon Alexa kiosks that makes it easy to find items.
Zalzala, who has a background in the retail and hospitality industries, says that training and teaching store associates is crucial in helping shoppers take advantage of both the types of products and the use of technologies. “I make sure that the associates know all we have to offer – we have a hot and cold bar and our bakery section is huge – and how to make recommendations to customers,” she explained.
Team members also helped customers get the hang of the Dash Cart as they navigated the store’s brand new aisles. Heading into the Memorial Day weekend, many shoppers filled those carts with supplies for at-home celebrations and entertaining. “Especially in our meat and seafood counters, people were grabbing things like burger meat and steaks in preparation for the holiday,” said Zalzala.
The Chevy Chase store in nearby Maryland is currently hiring for store associates and is set to open later this year.