Amazon opens second Go Grocery store


Rosie Bradbury, GroceryDive

Sept. 9, 2020


Dive Brief:


·         Amazon’s latest Go Grocery store opened Wednesday in Redmond, Washington, a company spokesperson said in an email.

·         With a selling floor square footage of approximately 7,350 square feet, the store offers a selection of hot foods prepared in a back-of-house kitchen, Just Walk Out technology and an onsite Amazon Hub Locker+ where shoppers can pick up or return Amazon orders. Its range of prepared options include breakfast wraps, soups, hot sandwiches, sliced pizza, rotisserie chicken, BBQ ribs and baked goods. The store also includes an expanded selection of baby items, including diapers and wipes.

·         The store's daily hours are 7am to 10pm daily. It is the second Go Grocery in the U.S., after Amazon opened its first Seattle location in February.


Dive Insight:


In February, Amazon debuted its surprise Go Grocery format in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, featuring checkout-free technology and significantly more store offerings than its smaller Go convenience stores, including weighted items like fresh produce. The second Redmond location is 13,000 square feet, with a back-of-house that's more spacious than the Capitol Hill location to allow for the preparation of its hot prepared meals.


The second location is more suburban than the first, and and its assortment appears to reflect that, offering fresh-prepared items that cover breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wider selection of baby products for parents. While the first Go Grocery location didn't offer foods prepared on-premise, other Amazon Go locations have taken this approach. In January, one Amazon Go convenience store in San Francisco’s Financial District told customers that it would add hot food and a soda fountain to its offerings.


The store's location presents a direct challenge to Kroger. It's right across the street from a Fred Meyer and in the same area as QFC's "connected store," which debuted last year and features enhancements like digital shelves and a guided shopping tool developed by Kroger and Microsoft, which is based in Redmond.


Go Grocery’s cashierless Just Walk Out technology relies on a combination of computer-vision cameras, shelf sensors and machine-learning algorithms to monitor shoppers and determine their purchases. The onsite Hub Locker+ in Redmond also offers a contactless experience for shoppers — a significant asset during the novel coronavirus pandemic.


In a February interview, Amazon's vice president of physical stores, Cameron Janes, said the company wants its technology to operate in the background so that consumers can focus on shopping as they normally would. He said Go Grocery is focused on offering meals close to where shoppers live, a priority that's become all the more important during the pandemic.


"Here, we're located closer to the customers’ home," Janes said. "Our selection is really about groceries and what’s for dinner tonight."


When the Seattle location opened, however, some observers speculated that the expectation that consumers package their own fresh produce could cause issues on the back end of service, and that the shopping experience was not streamlined for large shopping trips.


Amazon has 26 Go convenience stores...