As many businesses struggled to survive the pandemic, Amazon.com was quietly building a national grocery chain.
The first Amazon Fresh store opened to the public in Los Angeles in September. Store No. 11 opened Thursday, and Amazon is working on at least 28 more, from Philadelphia to the Sacramento suburbs. The company is also testing the “Just Walk Out” cashierless shopping technology created for its Go convenience stores at an Amazon Fresh location in Illinois.
More than a decade after it started selling groceries, Amazon has a tiny sliver of the $900 billion U.S. grocery market and has watched traditional chains finally start figuring out how to sell food online. Amazon Fresh, industry watchers say, is a way for the company to become even stickier with devoted Prime members, as well as appeal to a broad cross-section of America, from lower-income shoppers who frequent discounters like Walmart Inc. to wealthier customers looking to pick up online orders.