In these days of coronavirus disruption, as contactless shopping becomes a tremendous value for so many consumers, it looks like Amazon is trading on some of its cutting-edge technology and going further into the grocery business with a new range of contactless in-store solutions.
New reports reveal more about a Woodland Hills Los Angeles pilot store called Amazon Fresh that looks unlike your traditional grocery.
Inside the 35,000 square-foot store, which is supposed to be joined soon by six others in states like California and Illinois, shoppers can find a range of affordable foods and skip the checkout line with something called Amazon Dash Cart for contactless payment with up to two bags of groceries.
A full tally by Reuters shows that Amazon currently has 20 cashier-less stores around the country, but that’s not the firm’s first foray into food: in 2017, Amazon bought the Whole Foods chain and now has 500 mini-stores inside of Whole Foods locations.
Amazon Fresh will be significantly different. In addition to the Amazon Dash Cart technology mentioned above, there will be Amazon devices in the aisles to help customers find food items. (Alexa, where’s the spinach?)
In some ways, Amazon Fresh grocery stores seem like a compelling answer to the question of how to generate contactless grocery shopping in an era where most traditional vending machines are already obsolete.
Other big chains have simply shifted to a delivery model, but Amazon’s gambit will provide in-store experience that seems safer for customers, and that could really propel Amazon’s grocery business to complement its thorough dominance in the e-commerce industry. In other words, Amazon is in the top FAANG group of U.S. stocks for a reason.
The bottom line is that, even before this new move, investors could hardly do anything major in tech without considering the machinations of Jeff Bezos. This is just another feather in Amazon’s cap, an emerging one that your portfolio should reflect.