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Amazon Fresh shutters small Seattle store

New, larger format locations producing good results, company says

Amazon said it is closing one of its Amazon Fresh stores in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle as part of its effort to focus on larger locations for the concept.

Meanwhile, a second New Jersey location for the Amazon Fresh banner is reportedly under development in Eatontown.

The closing of the Seattle store, which had been previously converted from an Amazon Go convenience store, also comes as the company phases out its “Just Walk Out” checkout technology at Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. The Capitol Hill store, which opened in 2020, was the second Amazon Go-format store for the company, following the test location inside Amazon’s Day 1 building at its Seattle headquarters, which opened to the public in 2018 and is still in operation.

An Amazon spokesperson told Supermarket News that the company has seen some positive results from its larger Amazon Fresh redesigns in Chicago and Southern California that offer an expanded selection, and that it is focusing on growing selectively with the new, larger format.

“Over the last year, we’ve redesigned a number of our full-sized Amazon Fresh stores, offering a better overall shopping experience by bringing in an expanded selection, low prices on even more grocery items, and greater convenience with updated checkout options such as Amazon Dash Cart,” Jessica Martin, an Amazon spokesperson, told Supermarket News.

She said the redesigned stores are generating higher customer satisfaction scores and improved sales.

“Our goal is to build a best-in-class grocery shopping experience—whether shopping in-store or online—where Amazon is the first choice for selection, value, and convenience,” said Martin.

During the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call in February, Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon, said the company was pleased with the progress it was making in its grocery division, and he highlighted the redesigned Amazon Fresh locations.

“The results thus far are very promising and on almost every dimension,” he said. “We need to see it for a little bit longer, but the results appear like we have something that's resonating. And if we continue to see that, then the issue becomes how fast and what’s the best way to expand.”

The company had paused its planned openings of the Amazon Fresh format last year, but it is expecting to open more locations this year. At least one location is on tap for Eatontown, N.J., according to local reports that cite job listings for the store. It would be the second New Jersey location for Amazon Fresh, which also has a store in Paramus.

Martin declined to comment on specific plans for new-store development.

“We’ll continue to open new Whole Foods Market stores, and will do so selectively with Amazon Fresh as we see results we like,” she said. “We’re encouraged by early signs of our new store design in Chicago and Southern California, and will proceed adaptively.”

The company currently has 44 Amazon Fresh locations in the U.S., according to its website.

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