Amazon already owns Whole Foods and has a relatively large role in grocery, but the company is also quietly building out a national grocery chain. Over the last six months, Amazon has opened 11 Amazon Fresh locations across the US with plans for dozens more, putting it in direct competition with mega-retailers like Walmart and Dollar General.
Amazon plans to open four grocery stores on the East Coast, the company confirmed Thursday.
The company declined to comment on whether the four stores will be Fresh stores or when the locations will open.
“We’re thrilled to bring two Amazon grocery stores to the Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia area, creating hundreds of new job opportunities for residents living in the region,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We can also confirm that we’re hiring for Zone Leads for an Amazon grocery store in the Warrington, PA and Chevy Chase, MD area.”
Amazon is known for tech-centric brick-and-mortar experiences, most notably its “Just Walk Out” cashier-less technology. But the ability to shop and go has been limited to smaller, convenience-type stores, not large grocery stores. Amazon Fresh could change that. Amazon is testing Just Walk Out technology at an Amazon Fresh location in Illinois. If the technology can successfully be scaled, it could create widespread cashier-less grocery shopping, which would revolutionize the experience.