Next week, Amazon plans to open its eighth Amazon Fresh store, a new supermarket concept that the e-tail giant premiered last summer.
Seattle-based Amazon said Friday that it plans to open a 45,000-square-foot Amazon Fresh location in Schaumburg, Ill., on Jan. 28. The new store will be the banner’s second in Illinois following the opening of a 35,000-square-foot location in Naperville on Dec. 10.
Four Amazon Fresh stores opened their doors in 2020 since the concept’s first location, a 35,000-square-foot unit in Woodland Hills, Calif., debuted in late August and then opened to the public in mid-September. Besides the Naperville site, Amazon opened Fresh stores to the public in Irvine, Calif., (40,000 square feet) on Oct. 22; Northridge, Calif., (30,000 square feet) on Nov. 12; and North Hollywood, Calif., (25,000 square feet) on Nov. 19.
This year, Amazon thus far has opened a 30,000-square-foot Fresh store in Ladera Heights, Calif., on Jan. 21 and a larger location in Whittier, Calif., on Jan. 14. The Whittier store took over a 38,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by an Orchard Supply Hardware store in the Friendly Hills Marketplace shopping center. The Whittier Amazon Fresh was reported earlier this week by Reeco, a Southern California real estate brokerage that leased the space to Amazon.
“We are thrilled with Amazon’s decision to make the Friendly Hills Marketplace home to one of the first Amazon Fresh stores in the country. After Orchard Supply Hardware closed, we targeted the location for grocery store use to reposition the Friendly Hills Marketplace as a daily-needs shopping center,” Darren Barkev, a real estate broker for Irvine-based Reeco, said in a statement. “With Amazon Fresh, the Whittier community will benefit from a new, exciting model of grocery store that offers seamless in-store and online shopping — a great option during the pandemic — as well as Amazon’s investment in the city.
“Amazon’s position as the anchor-tenant is expected to bring additional traffic to the other stores in the shopping center, many of which are small businesses,” Barkev added. “Having a powerful company like that involved in Whittier is a great sign for the local economy.”
Last week, Amazon said it has begun hiring for two Amazon Fresh stores in Washington state: one in Seattle’s Central District and another in the suburban neighborhood of Factoria in Bellevue. The company didn’t disclose details about the two King County stores, but a spokesperson said they will be similar in size to current Amazon Fresh locations in Southern California and the Chicago area.
“We are proud to be bringing hundreds of good jobs with benefits to the Seattle area as we prepare to open the first Amazon Fresh grocery stores in our home state of Washington,” Roetta Greene Elton, district manager of Amazon Fresh grocery stores, said in a statement. “We’re excited to provide customers with new, low-priced grocery stores in their neighborhoods and look forward to contributing positively to the community.”
Like the other Amazon Fresh locations, the Schaumburg store at 16 A East Golf Rd. will provide an omnichannel shopping experience. Same-day grocery delivery and pickup — free for Amazon Prime members — will be offered directly from the store. Customers will be able to pick up their orders at the store’s service counter or by parking in a designated pickup spot. Technology also will be prominent in the new location. Shoppers will be able to use the multifunction Amazon Dash Cart to find items, track purchases and expedite checkout as well as use stations with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant to manage shopping lists and navigate the store’s aisles.
On the grocery side, the Schaumburg store will feature the Fresh concept’s mix of national, private and local brands plus fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with an array prepared foods made fresh in store daily. The latter range from fresh-baked bread and made-to-order pizzas to rotisserie chickens and hot sandwiches like brisket panini.
Brands carried at the new Amazon Fresh will include Amazon-exclusive labels such as Fresh and Cursive plus 365 by Whole Foods Market organics, in addition to national brands like Coca-Cola and Kraft Mac & Cheese; local brands such as Turano Baking Company, Oberweis Dairy and Gino’s East frozen pizza; and regional favorites like Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda.
Amazon said low prices will be a fixture of the Schaumburg location, as at the other Amazon Fresh stores. Examples of everyday-low-price items include bananas for 15 cents, fresh-baked bread for 89 cents, pizza slices for $1.79 and rotisserie chickens for $4.97. Among the grand opening deals will be $2.69 for a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, buy-one-get-one-free Frito-Lay chips (7.5 oz.-8 oz.), $2.49 for a pound of sumo oranges, Angry Buffalo marinated chicken wings at $4.59 per pound and USDA Choice beef tenderloin steak for $12.89 per pound.
Other upcoming Amazon Fresh locations announced by Amazon include Bloomingdale and Oak Lawn, Ill., which began hiring in October. Amazon also acquired two Fairway Market store leases in Paramus and Woodland Park, N.J., in March but hasn’t disclosed plans for the former upscale supermarket locations.
Amazon also operates two Amazon Go cashierless grocery stores, about 10,000 square feet each, in Seattle and Redmond, Wash., plus 26 compact Amazon Go checkout-free convenience stores in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle.