Amazon’s brick-and-mortar grocery footprint is expanding in the Seattle area as the tech giant confirmed it is opening two new Amazon Fresh grocery stores.
Amazon said in a news release Monday morning that it plans to fill “hundreds of full- and part-time positions, including managerial roles,” at the stores.
GeekWire previously wrote about clues pointing to the development of both stores. One is located on Jackson Street in Seattle’s Central District and the other is in the Factoria neighborhood of Bellevue, Wash.
The first Amazon Fresh grocery store opened last August in Woodland Hills, Calif. The stores are designed to be similar to a traditional full-service grocery store but with some added technology, including smart grocery carts and Amazon Echo devices that help shoppers navigate aisles. There are four Amazon Fresh stores open in the Los Angeles region, and one in the Chicago area.
Amazon operates two Go Grocery stores in the Seattle region. The first opened in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood last February, and the second opened in September in Redmond, Wash. Those stores rely on the high-tech experience that powers smaller Amazon Go convenience stores, including an array of cameras and sensors to log what people put in their carts as they shop, eliminating checkout lines.
There are 26 Amazon Go stores, spread across Seattle, New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
Groceries are an estimated $678 billion U.S. market. The Amazon Fresh brand originated in Seattle with the first pilot of the company’s grocery delivery service starting in 2007, and Amazon continues to invest heavily in both physical and online grocery. It acquired Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in 2017 and operates nearly 500 of those stores in the U.S.
The Seattle Amazon Fresh store at the corner of 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street is reported to be 25,000 square feet and will be located at the base of a huge apartment complex developed by Vulcan Real Estate.
“This store will create hundreds of new job opportunities for people in the community and provide them with an easily accessible, low-cost option for groceries, which is especially important during these tough times,” Michelle Merriweather, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, said in a statement.