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Amazon Confirms Go-Ahead For New Grocery Brand Besides Whole Foods

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Amazon has confirmed that it is planning to open a non-Whole Foods grocery store next year in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The new store will occupy a 35K SF space vacated by Toys R Us in a neighborhood shopping center.

Supermarket

As yet, the retail giant hasn't confirmed what it will call the new store, nor whether it will be the first of a greater number of stores, CNET reports. Also to be determined is the store's selection of goods and its pricing.

Woodland Hills is relatively affluent, but not vastly so, with a median household income of more than $92,600 (the national median household income is about $57,600).

The store will not be an Amazon Go, where tech obviates the need for conventional checkout stands. Rather, the new brand will reportedly include standard retail checkout.

Amazon has been working on its new brand for some time now, with its efforts in that direction first reported this spring. As of this fall, the e-commerce giant signed at least a dozen leases in the Los Angeles area for grocery stores, one of which is Woodland Hills. Other target markets are Chicago and Philadelphia.

Amazon tipped its hand about the Woodland Hills store when it posted job openings for it, which described the location as "Amazon's first grocery store." The company advertised for both workers and management.

Amazon is mining data about the grocery business through Whole Foods and its other projects, Marketplace Pulse founder Juozas Kaziukenas told TechXplore.

"They're trying to understand what you need to run a grocery supply chain and how to take that supply chain and, in particular, apply it to online grocery delivery," Kaziukenas said.

The top U.S. grocery brands aren't taking lightly the prospect of Amazon muscling in on their markets. The top of the grocery store food chain is occupied by national brands with deep pockets, and they are spending billions to adapt to shoppers' changing habits

Amazon's foray into the grocery sector goes beyond Whole Foods, which it acquired in 2017 for $13.7B, or its still-unrealized new line of physical stores. 

The retailer is also upping its game in the online ordering and delivery of groceries. Last month, for instance, the company began offering Amazon Prime members two-hour grocery delivery in about 2,000 U.S. cities at no extra charge, and items ordered on Amazon can be picked up at lockers at Whole Foods.