Amazon set to open tech-enable grocery stores with smart devices, Alexa guides in USA

USA – Global retail and e-commerce giant, Amazon has announced it is set to open a supermarket with high tech shopping carts that allow customers to skip checkout lines.

The first of the new tech-enable stores will be located in the Woodland Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles.

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It will be the first store to open out of seven confirmed cites in southern California and greater Chicago, reports Foodbev.

“We’re announcing our first Amazon Fresh grocery store. It’s a new grocery store designed to offer a seamless shopping experience whether customers are shopping in-store or online,” Jeff Helbling, vice president of Amazon Fresh stores, said in an interview.

“With this new store, we’ve taken our decades of operations experience at Amazon to deliver consistently low prices for everyone and free same-day grocery delivery for Prime members.”

Customers will shop by signing into to their Amazon app and placing their items in a Dash Cart, a small grocery cart which is equipped with sensors that detect what’s inside and allow customers to exit through a dedicated lane to pay for their groceries.

The carts also feature Echo Show devices to ask Alexa where various items are located in the shop.

The smart cart enables shoppers to forgo the store’s cashiers, instead using technology to discern purchases, bill a nominated credit card, and leave through a designated lane.

A service counter will provide customers with a place to pick up orders from Amazon’s online shop, and to complete returns without having to package and resend the items themselves.

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The new grocery store serves as an expansion of the company’s organic Whole Foods chain, which it acquired for US$13.7 billion in 2017. However, Amazon Fresh will stock well-known brands and a range of fresh produce, meat and seafood.

Amazon has increased its capacity to deliver groceries by more than 160 percent, according to its latest earnings report, which captured May, June and July.

The company also tripled its online grocery sales compared with the same period last year.

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