Amazon’s latest technology is being added to their Fresh supermarkets which will allow customers to “grab and go.” The technology is put into place to make grocery shopping seamless and easy. The first store to see this new addition is located in a suburban shopping plaza in Brookfield, Connecticut.
Instead of waiting in long checkout lines, the new technology will allow customers to grab any grocery items they need and will charge them as they leave. There are a few factors that will play a role in this new process. The first factor is a gated entry and exit lane located at the front of the store. This first step will allow customers to scan their purchasing information or possibly an app. They will then shop for their groceries as usual, while a ceiling-mounted camera system tracks the items as they enter the cart. The final factor is an electronic shelving system that will monitor what leaves the store and needs to be restocked.
Another feature of these supermarkets will also include a staging area located at the front of the store which will make for easy access to pick up online orders or even return packages for free. The goal of each of these new additions to Fresh supermarkets seems to be conveniences and speed. The new technology will set a new industry standard, changing the grocery store experience drastically, though the new additions do come at a high cost. There are currently competing industry start-ups including Standard Cognition and Grabango who have developed similar products. The question is if we still start to see this technology in a large store format.
Where can I find a Fresh grocery store?
The very first Fresh grocery store to be opened is located in Los Angeles in the Woodland Hills neighborhood. The store was opened in September and was the first of 12 new locations in the southern California area.
You can also find Amazon’s Fresh supermarkets in the suburbs of Chicago. If you are located on the East Coast, Amazon is planning to open multiple locations soon. Fresh grocery stores are typically 35,000 square feet, roughly the same size as a Whole Foods location, also owned by Amazon. The difference between Whole Foods and Fresh stores is that the price point is offered at a lower variety compared to the upscale options that you might find at Whole Foods. However, the two stores will both offer the experience of the mesh between online and in-store shopping.
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