When it comes to online shopping, Amazon is easily one of the most recognizable brands around, but in physical retail, the company has a relatively small presence. In recent years, Amazon has tried to enter the space and bring some unique features to grocery shopping, as in the case of the cashier-less Amazon Go stores that let customers make purchases and be billed directly through their Amazon account. Amazon also owns Whole Foods Market, but now it's trying to expand its reach with its first-ever Amazon Fresh grocery store.
Launching in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, the Amazon Fresh store will sell all sorts of produce, meat, seafood, and pre-prepared meals, without the focus on organic foods that's trademark of Whole Foods Market. Amazon is bringing some of its online shopping expertise to the table, allowing customers to shop in-store or online for store pickup or same-day delivery in the area. Orders can be picked up at a service counter or at a designed parking spot at the store, helping customers keep social distancing.
Amazon is also introducing Amazon Dash Cart, a smart shopping cart inspired by its Amazon Go stores, as it scans the items customers place into their bags and charges their Amazon account. This way, customers can skip the checkout line and head out more quickly. There will also be Echo Show devices throughout the store, so customers can ask where certain products are to find them more easily.
The Amazon Fresh store is opening only via invitation at first, meaning select customers in the Woodland Hills area will receive an e-mail letting them know they're invited. In the near future, though, the store should open up to everyone.