Amazon Goes for Innovation With Newest Grocery Store

Amazon Goes for Innovation with Newest Grocery Store
Amazon Go uses sensors, cameras and machine learning to enable cashier-free food retail.

It’s a go for a new location of Amazon’s cashier-free grocery store.

The retailer on Wednesday opened its second Amazon Go Grocery store, this one in Redmond, Washington — a town probably best known as the home of Microsoft. An Amazon spokesperson tells Progressive Grocer that the store is about 13,000-square-feet overall, with 7,350-square-feet front of the house. The new store is located in the Overlake Fashion Plaza in Redmond and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. 

The first store Go Grocery debuted in February in Seattle, and the main feature of the concept is the Just Walk Out technology — that is, cameras, sensors and software that enable customers to be automatically charged for purchases without wasting time in checkout lanes or going through self-checkout kiosks.

This new Redmond store differs from the first one in at least one significant way — the availability of hot food items for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are prepared in the store's back-of-house kitchen. Shoppers will find products that range from hot breakfast wraps and oatmeal in the morning to soups, hot sandwiches, and pizza by the slice for lunch and dinner, Amazon said. The new grocery store also offers rotisserie chicken, chicken wings, and full racks of BBQ ribs, and a selection of breads, pastries, and cookies.

"We have also expanded our assortment of baby products such as diapers, wipes, food, and other supplies for those parents who are on the go," the spokesperson said. "Shoppers will also find Amazon Hub Locker+ onsite to offer a fast, convenient, and staffed location to pick up or return their Amazon orders."

Local vendors featured in this new store include La Parisienne, Donut Factory, Tony’s Coffee, Blazing Bagels, Lopez Island Creamery, Ellenos Yogurt, Uli’s Famous Sausage, Beecher’s, Eat Local, Sri Bella, Carso’s Pasta Company, and Theo’s Chocolate.

The newest edition of Amazon Go Grocery opens it doors as the company also pursues other paths in food retail innovation. For instance, news recently emerged that Amazon will put a grocery operation inside a Kohl’s store — expanding on a relationship between the two retailers that had focused on returns of Amazon items.

As well, Amazon in late August introduced its first stand-alone supermarket banner: a 35,000-square-foot, digitally perfected store in Woodland Hills, California, called Fresh.

The Fresh banner is not an offshoot of Whole Foods, nor does it look a checkout-less Amazon Go store. The new Amazon Fresh supermarket takes elements of all of those concepts — micro-fulfillment, contactless features, a curated assortment of premium and conventional products, and highly personalized service -- and melds them into one innovative store that offers something for every type of food shopper, from low-touch cashierless checkout to high-touch made-to-order prepared foods. This is a store that is designed to appeal to a shopper looking for the best of everything: the best product mix, the best technology and the best shopping experience.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2020 PG 100 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is No. 24 on PG's list.

Also Worth Reading