After only a few years in operation, Amazon Fresh has redesigned its stores in Schaumburg and Oak Lawn, Ill., in its quest to build a best-in-class grocery shopping experience.
Acknowledging that his company’s foray into food retailing has been slowed by a series of external circumstances (citing lack of normalcy in the business environment), Amazon CEO Andy Jassy mentioned back in April that his retail teams were working to enhance the Amazon Fresh operation. “We’re experimenting with selection, checkout formats, assortment, price points,” he said. “I’m encouraged we have several that I think are promising.”
The refreshed stores in Illinois are now touting the results of those efforts. Both stores offer an expanded selection, with more than 1,600 new national and private label products, with the biggest increases in dairy, snacks, home care, health and baking products. These stores now also offer a wider selection of international flavors, including a robust naan bread selection and condiments and sauces from around the world.
For prepared foods, the Chicago area stores offer new grab-and-go sandwiches, salads, wraps and snack boxes. There are also take-and-bake pizzas, ready-to-heat burritos and ready-made meals to simplify dinner plans.
The two refreshed stores also boast Krispy Kreme Doughnut shops, offering customers a variety of fresh doughnuts, and an expansive selection of iced coffee, hot coffee, espresso drinks and frozen lattes that can be customized with extra espresso shots and flavors. This is the first Krispy Kreme shop of its kind in Amazon Fresh.
Schaumburg and Oak Lawn customers have the option to use the latest version of the Dash Cart, a smart shopping cart that makes it easier to shop the store, discover new items, find the best deals, and skip the checkout line. Self checkout is also available.
For kids shopping with their families, these stores have several fun offerings, including kid-friendly shopping carts, stickers and a new Fruit Freebies for Kids program, which invites families with kids to grab a piece of fruit from a special cart in the produce department. Additionally, the store will host several seasonal events with entertainment for the whole family.
“We think grocery is a really important and strategic area for us," stressed Jassy during a company earnings call on Feb. 3. "It’s a very large market segment, and there’s a lot of frequency in how consumers shop for grocery."
[Read more: "Amazon Fresh Launches Delivery, Pickup for Non-Prime Members"]
In addition to Amazon Fresh, Amazon also owns organic national grocer Whole Foods Markets.
Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. PG named both companies as its Retailers of the Century.