Ready to do battle with supermarket giants Kroger Co. and Albertsons Cos. Inc. in the $900 billion U.S. grocery industry, Amazon will open a Los Angeles supermarket this week that will feature the next generation shopping cart, Reuters reported.
Amazon Fresh, coming to the Woodland Hills neighborhood bordering the Santa Monica mountains in the San Fernando Valley this week, is the first of seven supermarkets the world’s largest eCommerce retailer plans for California and Greater Chicago.
Its debut will be by invitation only, but the store plans to open to the public in the coming weeks, the news service reported.
Shoppers will get their first glimpse at the “Dash Cart” that allows customers to select and fill two grocery bags and skip checkout lines through a designated lane.
While it may look like any other shopping cart, its use of sensors, cameras, and a display screen tracks orders and grabs the amount due from a linked credit card.
At 35,000 square feet, the store is about the same size as a Whole Foods store, the supermarket chain Amazon bought two years ago for $13.7 billion.
“We feature a lot of national brands, (priced) lower than the other options that the people have in the Woodland Hills area,” Jeff Helbling, Amazon’s vice president, told Reuters.
Last month, Amazon boasted its biggest quarterly profit of all times. The company nearly doubled its revenue and profit numbers thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic while spending more than $9 billion on capital improvement projects.
Operating cash flow soared by 42 percent to $51 billion in the second quarter (Q2) compared with $36 billion for the same quarter last year. Net sales increased 40 percent to nearly $89 billion compared with $63 billion in Q2 of 2019.
Operating income increased to $5.8 billion in the second quarter compared with $3.1 billion a year ago, and net income increased to $5.2 billion compared to $2.6 billion. Video hours on Amazon Prime doubled. Online grocery sales tripled.
Still, Amazon reported a 13 percent drop in physical store revenue.
“You need to be able to add that and keep track of all of that and it just increases the complexity,” Kumar told the network.