Amazon Is Opening Two Grocery Stores on East Coast and ‘Hiring Hundreds’

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON/USA - March 31, 2017: Amazon Fresh Grocery Pickup Just Opened For Beta Participant Testing in the Ballard Neighborhood of Seattle.

Amazon is opening two standalone grocery stores on the East Coast, the company announced yesterday.

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“We’re opening two new Amazon grocery stores and hiring hundreds of people in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia,” the company said in a tweet.

One of the stores will be located in the Logan Circle neighborhood and the other will be in the northern Virginia town of Franconia, close to Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, according to CNBC.

CNBC reports that two other grocery stores are planned for the Philadelphia suburb of Warrington, Pa., and for Chevy Chase, Md.

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The company opened its first Amazon Fresh grocery store in August 2020 in Los Angeles’ Woodland Hills neighborhood and has since rapidly expanded in California and Illinois.

Amazon said that the stores make grocery shopping more convenient, including with “the Amazon Dash Cart, which enables customers to skip the checkout line, and new Alexa features to help customers manage their shopping lists and better navigate our aisles,” according to a statement.

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It is also offering free same-day delivery for Prime members.

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With its Fresh stores, Amazon appears to be going after “a squarely middle income customer who may shop at both discounters and conventional grocers already,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note on Tuesday, according to CNBC.

“As consumers increasingly demand same day grocery fulfillment (both for delivery and pickup at store), Fresh stores could therefore fill a previously missing hole in AMZN’s grocery fulfillment process while also building AMZN’s brand in food retail,” the analysts wrote, according to CNBC.

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Last month, Amazon opened its first Amazon Fresh cashierless grocery store in the U.K. The store uses the same technologies used in self-driving cars, the company said.

The store, located in Ealing, London, employs “Just Walk Out” technology, which “automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual basket. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Later, we’ll email you a receipt and charge your Amazon account. No queues, no checkout. (No, seriously.),” Amazon said on the grocery’s website.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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