Amazon Go Grocery: first impressions

Date : 02 March 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

We visited the new Amazon Go Grocery format in Seattle, the retailer’s larger format store featuring its just walk-out technology which opened last week.

Largest store to launch

This new store format at 14,000 sq ft is significantly larger than the 24 Amazon Go stores which have opened to date. Most of these stores sit within the 1,000-2,000 sq ft range. This store adopts the fresh green and white colour scheme which is common to the Amazon Fresh grocery ecommerce service. Here’s our first take on the format.

Source: IGD Research

1. Technology was flawless

As with the wider Amazon Go estate, the technology worked perfectly, with the larger footprint and higher product count easily manged by the system. Overhead vision cameras and weighted shelves are the key components. This store also features loose produce and bakery items, which are sold as individual products rather than by weight. This is a key evolution on the original Amazon Go stores.

Source: IGD Research

2. Mission-based layout

The store caters for food-for-now and food-for later missions. The store is clearly segregated into these two key zones making it easy for shoppers to navigate to the relevant part of the store quickly.

Source: IGD Research

3. Well-defined ranges

The store features a well-thought-out range in both parts of the store. With food-for-later, the retailer aims to meet shopper needs over the next 24-72 hours, with a focus on natural, organic and higher quality items, especially in fresh. Several private labels also feature.

Source: IGD Research

4. Competitive pricing

Key competitors in the area include Kroger’s QFC banner and Whole Foods Market, also operated by Amazon. Trader Joe’s and Safeway (Albertsons) are within a 10-minute drive-time. Pricing is competitive, with the retailer also offering a small number of promoted products.

Source: IGD Research

5. Front-end innovation round two 

Given the amount of technology in the store, questions will inevitably arise on its scalability. The more significant question to ask is how much more innovation will this development drive, and how quickly, across the wider industry?

Subscribers: click here to see our full store visit report, including floorplan and further in-store images and analysis. 

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