BLOOMINGDALE, IL — I’m in Chicagoland this week for the Blue Book Services Christmas party, and for some meetings, so I finally got a chance to stop by an Amazon Fresh.
I’ve been curious about using the latest iteration of Just Walk Out technology as I’m sure it’s changed quite a bit since I first tested it at Amazon Go in Seattle. (If you recall, I wasn’t a fan – Amazon Go? More Like Amazon No). But that was four years ago, and the technology, and Amazon’s grocery strategy, has changed quite a bit.
Greg Johnson and I stopped around 4:30 on a Tuesday. Usually, I find grocery stores to be quite busy this time of day, but Amazon Fresh was very, very quiet. I had an employee show me how to get the Dash cart up and running, and we set off looking for something to snack on in lieu of dinner.
The produce department looked fresh and full, for the most part. There were a few things missing, like romaine salad blends (understandable, given the crop challenges), and a few things that a more experienced staff would cull out. Gold potatoes were electric green, for example.
Amazon was keen to point out savings in-store, with a lot of end cap signage highlighting saving money with “Inflation Busting Prices.” Much of the department was packed in the Amazon Fresh private label, with Whole Foods’ 365 label designated for organics.
Fresh-cut doesn’t appear to be a big seller at this store, as much of the case had mark down tags.
My experience using the Dash cart was quite positive, once I got it figured out. It was kind of fun, and really neat to see how it weighs bulk produce.
The primary concern with this concept revolved around the lack of customers. I’m quite familiar with grocery shopping in this area in Chicago, and there is no shortage of choices, most of which are excellent local banners like Pete’s and Angelo Caputo’s.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of resources Amazon continues to put in a store like this, and see if the neighborhood begins to embrace it.
@producewithpamela How do you northerners survive the sun going down so early?! It’s so dark! Anyhoo, I’ve been wanting to see an Amazon Fresh store so I stopped by when we were in the office for meetings. I used the dash cart — quite the novelty. Lots of private label produce, promoting inflation savings, decent prices, decent quality, but it was a ghost town except for the beehive of in-house shoppers and employees. #amazonfresh#producedepartment#grocery#storecheck#chicagoland? Elevator Music – Bohoman