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Amazon says it'll roll out a new grocery store format next year

It'll be different from Whole Foods and won't use Amazon Go's cashierless tech.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
November 11, 2019
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Amazon is wading further into the physical retail world as it confirmed plans to open a different type of grocery store in 2020. Reports earlier this year suggested Amazon was working on a low-cost grocery format as an alternative to Whole Foods and Amazon Go.

The company told Engadget it's "opening a grocery store in Woodland Hills [a suburban Los Angeles neighborhood] in 2020." As first reported by CNET, it posted four job listings for the outlet, which it described as "Amazon's first grocery store." It's hiring two grocery associates who'll replenish stock and handle points of sale, a food service associate who'll work food counters and a team lead.

Amazon has reportedly signed a lease for a 35,000 square-foot space in Woodland Hills. The location was previously home to a Toys 'R' Us.

The grocery store will differ from Whole Foods and it won't use the cashierless tech of Amazon Go stores, instead opting for traditional checkouts. Amazon hasn't revealed what the store will be called yet, whether it'll open more locations or what the item selection and pricing will look like.

The Wall Street Journal, which initially reported on Amazon expanding its array of grocery options, said last month the retailer was planning stores in Los Angeles (having signed more than a dozen leases in the area), Chicago and Philadelphia, and was considering spaces in the New York area, New Jersey and Connecticut. According to the publication, Amazon's new stores will offer prepared foods and "mainstream groceries such as soda and Oreos."

Along with the upcoming store, Whole Foods and Amazon Go, Amazon has made other forays into physical retail locations with Amazon Books and Amazon 4-Star. The company also offers grocery delivery through Amazon Fresh, Prime Now and its core website. However, it shut down its pop-up kiosks at Whole Foods, Kohl's locations and malls this year.

Update 11/11/2019 11:55 AM ET: Added direct comment from Amazon.

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