Amazon aims to compete with the likes of Albertsons and Kroger with the launch of its first retail Fresh grocery story in Los Angeles. The Woodland Hills location, promising “a wide assortment of national brands and high-quality produce, meat and seafood,” is opening this week to select local customers by invitation only. Amazon said the public at large will be able to shop there “in the coming weeks.”
The new Fresh store will use Amazon’s new Dash Cart that has a mix of cameras, sensors and a scale to calculate purchases and deduct the total amount from your Amazon card. Those will let you bypass the checkout line and are designed for “small to medium-sized grocery trips [that] fit two grocery bags,” according to Amazon.
You’ll be able to pre-order deli items on the Fresh app using the “order ahead” feature and have them prepared while you shop. Plus, Amazon will let you pick up packages you’ve ordered from Amazon.com. And if you’d rather not go in at all, you can of course do free same-day grocery delivery or pickup with Amazon Prime.
In case you get confused with all this tech, there’s more tech: Amazon has “Ask Alexa” kiosks installed at the location. Those can help you find an item and answer “grocery-related questions” about wine-cheese pairings and more.
Amazon already has Fresh locations in the LA area, but they only function as warehouses to fulfill online orders. Of course, Amazon already owns a grocery store chain in Whole Foods, but the Fresh locations are targeting a different market without the emphasis on organic foods.