Amazon has opened its second Amazon Fresh grocery store, located in Irvine, Calif.
The 40,000-square-foot store, which opened to the public yesterday, serves up a mix of national and private brands and fresh produce, meat and seafood, along with an array prepared foods made fresh in store daily, Amazon said. 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, situated at 13672 Jamboree Rd. in Irvine, 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 Good Culture cottage cheese, Tosi snack bars, Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi and Rockenwagner Bakery; and regional favorites like Duke’s Mayo, Ellenos Yogurt and Boston Chowda.
Both Amazon Fresh stores now in operation are in the Los Angeles area. Sized at 35,000 square feet, the first Amazon Fresh store opened to the public in Woodland Hills, Calif., in mid-September after an invitation-only launch in late August. The two locations are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Like its sister store in Woodland Hills, the Irvine Amazon Fresh emphasizes low prices, according to Amazon. 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 for the Irvine store are $2.69 for a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, buy-one-get-one-free Frito-Lay chips (7.75 oz.-9.75 oz.), 59 cents/lb. for green D’Anjou pears and $7.29 for Panorama Meats USDA organic beef ribeye steak (8 oz.), as well as $5.79 for a 55-count Sour Patch, Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers Halloween candy assortment.
Technology also is prominent in the Amazon Fresh concept. Shoppers can use the multifunction Amazon Dash Cart, announced in mid-July, to find items, track purchases and expedite checkout, while new features from Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will help customers manage shopping lists and navigate the store’s aisles. And on the e-commerce side, same-day grocery delivery and pickup are offered directly from the Amazon Fresh store. Customers can pick up their orders at the store’s service counter or by parking in a designated pickup spot.
The Irvine and Woodland Hills stores are among a half-dozen Amazon Fresh locations disclosed by Amazon. Earlier this week, the Seattle-based e-tail giant said it has kicked off hiring for four Amazon Fresh stores in the Chicago area: Naperville, Bloomingdale, Oak Lawn and Schaumburg, Ill. Other upcoming Amazon Fresh stores include Northridge and North Hollywood, Calif. Amazon also acquired two Fairway Market store leases in Paramus and Woodland Park, N.J., in March but hasn’t disclosed plans for the locations.
According to Brick Meets Click co-founder and chief architect Bill Bishop, Amazon Fresh is a “store format that other grocers will need to watch.” A Barrington, Ill.-based strategic advisory firm, Brick Meets Click focuses on how digital technology and competitors are reshaping food sales and marketing.
“At first glance, Amazon Fresh looks a lot like a conventional grocery store: It’s not too small and it’s not too big, it carries all the items found in a full-service grocery store, and its meat, seafood and deli departments offer fresh prepared items, grab-and-go as well as pizza,” Bishop wrote in a blog post. “But a closer look reveals that Amazon Fresh is a digitally integrated grocery store, merchandised for today’s customers, that provides a seamless shopping experience. Its low break-even sales volume means that it can operate profitably in intensely competitive markets.”
Currently, Amazon’s U.S. physical stores include 487 Whole Foods Markets, two Amazon Fresh grocery stores, two Amazon Go Grocery stores (in Seattle and Redmond, Wash., about 10,000 square feet each), 26 Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores (five locations temporarily closed), 23 Amazon Books stores, 25 Amazon 4-Star outlets (one temporarily closed) and seven Presented by Amazon pop-up locations (one temporarily closed).