A First Peek Inside Amazon’s New Grocery Store Concept in Los Angeles
The e-commerce giant’s facility in the Woodland Hills neighborhood looks remarkably similar to a conventional supermarket.
By Matt Day, Brad Stone, and Noah Buhayar, Bloomberg
February 13, 2020
The $800 billion grocery industry is keeping a sharp eye on a strip mall in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. There, sandwiched between a nail salon and a bank branch, Amazon.com Inc. is working on the first in a new chain of grocery stores set to open this year.
The company has kept construction inside the store firmly under wraps, and, until now, no one has peeked in on Amazon’s latest plan to upend how food is sold. Based on never-before-seen photos of the facility at 6245 Topanga Canyon Blvd., as well as planning documents filed with the city, the store looks remarkably conventional—with a few Amazon-style flourishes.
Numbered aisles await staples like rice, beans, pasta and canned vegetables; waist-high coolers sit between some shelves. In the back of the 33,000-square-foot space, which is about average size for a supermarket, a meat and seafood counter sits in one corner. In the other, there’s an area called “Fresh Kitchen” for prepared foods and soups. The new chain makes it possible for Amazon to stock and sell the high-volume products that the purists at Whole Foods won’t touch—things like Coca-Cola, Smucker’s jam and Tide detergent.
At the center of the store, long aisles of conventional-looking shelves appear to carry the digital tags that the company uses in its Amazon Books and 4-Star stores, which let the retailer quickly circulate inventory and change prices. But Amazon has said the new supermarket will not be equipped with the cashierless system from its Go convenience stores.
There is at least one quintessentially Amazonian touch, and a sign that the company may try to use the chain to stitch together physical and digital shopping. Near the entrance, underneath a bright orange wall and Amazon smile logo, is a window for order pickup and customer returns.
Plans show a staging area...
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