Amazon Fresh is making some changes to a few Chicago-area stores as it faces layoffs and lawsuits over stalled store openings.
The company is adding new features like a broader product assortment, Krispy Kreme donut shops, fresh produce promotions for kids, and self-checkout, according to a blog post.
Meanwhile, multiple media outlets are reporting layoffs in the Amazon Fresh division, and lawsuits from at least three stalled store openings.
The Washington Post reported that there are at least four lawsuits seeking damages up to $14 million for stores that were planned but not opened. In February, it was reported that the company had paused Amazon Fresh expansion while it reevaluates its grocery business.
A spokesperson told the Post “Like any retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimization decisions that can lead to closing existing locations or choosing not to pursue building a planned location.”
Among the Amazon Fresh store reconfigurations is a staff reconfiguration that in “lower-level management employees” at the 44 Fresh stores across the U.S., according to an NPR article.
Amazon is adapting its high-tech shopping experience for more standard-tech shoppers, adding more familiar self-checkouts to its “Just Walk Out” cashierless options.
The company also has added new features for families, including “kid-friendly shopping carts, stickers, and a new ‘Fruit Freebies for Kids’ program. Amazon also plans to host seasonal events with family-friendly entertainment in-store.
Amazon’s next earnings call is planned for August 3. Analysts expect to hear more about plans for Amazon Fresh during the call.