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A fledgling supermarket chain launched by Amazon in 2020, Amazon Fresh currently has 30 locations in six states.

Amazon Fresh to enter New York, New Jersey

Hiring events planned for grocery banner’s first metro New York locations

Amazon is getting ready to open its first Amazon Fresh supermarkets in New York and New Jersey.

Seattle-based Amazon said Wednesday that it will begin hiring for Amazon Fresh stores in Paramus, N.J., and Oceanside, N.Y. The e-tail giant reported that it aims to fill “hundreds” of full- and part-time positions at the upcoming stores, both of which will feature the company’s Just Walk Out technology that enables customers to pay for their items without waiting at the checkout line.

Amazon declined to specify the number of employees it aims to hire or provide opening dates and further details about the planned Oceanside and Paramus stores, which will bring the Amazon Fresh banner into the metropolitan New York market.

Amazon Fresh-Just Walk Out-customer exit.jpgSo far, 14 Amazon Fresh stores offer Just Walk Out "skip the checkout lane" functionality. The upcoming Paramus and Oceanside stores, too, are earmarked for the technology. (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

“I’m excited to welcome hundreds of new individuals to our Amazon Fresh team as we get the store ready for customers,” Charlie Chacón, store manager of the Amazon Fresh in Oceanside, said in a statement.

Positions at the new Amazon Fresh stores offer starting wages of $15 to $18.55 per hour, depending on the location and role type, according to Amazon, which added that new associates also receive benefit packages on their first day on the job. Plans call for Amazon Fresh Oceanside to host a virtual hiring event on May 26 and for Amazon Fresh Paramus to hold an in-person hiring event on June 8 and 9 at the Marriott Saddle Brook in Saddle Brook, N.J.

Amazon noted that Amazon Fresh associates get the opportunity to cross-train across the store. Grocery associates learn everything from customer service and stocking shelves to running checkout and picking and packing online orders. Also, foodservice associates work in the store’s culinary area, preparing fresh foods daily.

“I’m proud to bring hundreds of good jobs with benefits to the Paramus community as we prepare to welcome customers,” commented Chris Boje, store manager of the Amazon Fresh in Paramus. “Our new Amazon Fresh store was designed from the ground up to offer the local community with a seamless grocery shopping experience and low prices on a wide assortment of national brands and high-quality produce, meat and seafood.”

The first Amazon Fresh store opened in late August 2020, a 35,000-square-foot location in Woodland Hills, Calif. Amazon now has 30 Amazon Fresh supermarkets in six states — California (14 stores), Illinois (seven), Washington (four), Virginia (two), Maryland (one) and Pennsylvania (one) — and Washington, D.C. (one), ranging from about 25,000 to 45,000 square feet. The most recent opening came on May 5, a 35,000-square-foot store in Murrieta, Calif.

Overall, 14 Amazon Fresh stores offer Just Walk Out shopping, and 16 offer the Amazon Dash Cart, a “smart” shopping cart that provides skip-the-checkout line capability and other shopper functions. Originated in Amazon Go convenience stores, Just Walk Out made its Amazon Fresh premiere last June at a Bellevue, Wash., store.

Jeff Helbling, vice president of Amazon Fresh Stores, recently told Supermarket News that new Amazon Fresh stores are planned for California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington state and New Jersey, though he didn’t give the number of locations planned or an opening time frame. Amazon also had confirmed plans for the Oceanside store.

Besides being the first Amazon Fresh in the Empire State, the Oceanside store — occupying the space of a former Waldbaum’s supermarket — marks the banner’s debut in the metro New York suburban market of Long Island. According to Newsday, two more Long Island Amazon Fresh stores are upcoming, in Plainview (a former Fairway Market store) and East Setauket (a former Waldbaum’s store).

“We’ve always been at the forefront of business and economic development, and we are proud Oceanside is the site of Amazon Fresh’s first location in New York State,” stated Don Clavin, supervisor of the Town of Hempstead, which includes Oceanside. “This new store will be a great opportunity for creating jobs and boosting our local economy, and we wish Amazon the best of luck here in America’s largest township.”

The Amazon Fresh in Paramus, N.J., also occupies a former Fairway Market site. In March 2020, Amazon acquired leases for Fairway’s Paramus and Woodland Park, N.J., stores via auction as part of the latter chain’s bankruptcy. At the time, Amazon didn't disclose plans for the former upscale supermarket sites.

“We’re thrilled that Amazon is opening its first Amazon Fresh store in New Jersey in Paramus,” Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera said in a statement. “Not only will this new store provide fresh, low-priced groceries for shoppers in the area, but Amazon is also creating hundreds of jobs with good pay and benefits locally.”

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