According to a report by Natalie Kostelni in the Philadelphia Business Journal, Amazon has signed a lease for a new, 40,000 square foot grocery store in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia. The store is planned for the first floor of a 13-story apartment complex and includes underground parking.
Rodin Development is proposing the new project, which is similar to the development Rodin completed in 2016 in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia. The retail portion is anchored by Amazon-owned Whole Foods, and there are 10 floors of apartments along with a parking facility.
Other Amazon supermarkets are planned for the Philadelphia market as well. Kostelni reports that Amazon has deals for a 36,000 square foot store in a former Giant at Creekview Center in Warrington, and a 41,000 square foot store in part of a vacant Kmart at Brookwood Shopping Center in Bensalem.
In addition, multiple reports last month revealed that Amazon has applied for a liquor license at 403 West Chester Pike in Havertown’s Llanerch Shopping Center. The 41,000 square foot building was formerly occupied by LA Fitness.
More than a conventional grocery store
According to Brick Meets Click Co-Founder Bill Bishop, Amazon Fresh – Amazon’s new supermarket concept – may look like a conventional grocery store, but is a format other grocers will need to watch.
“It’s not too small and it’s not too big, it carries all of the items found in a full-service grocery store, and its meat, seafood and deli departments offer fresh prepared items, grab-and-go as well as pizza,” Bishop said. “But a closer look reveals that Amazon Fresh is a digitally integrated grocery store, merchandised for today’s customers, that provides a seamless shopping experience. Its low break-even sales volume means that it can operate profitably in intensely competitive markets.”
Features in Amazon Fresh stores include the following:
Amazon Dash Cart – a shopping cart that allows customers to download shopping lists created in Alexa and provides navigation guidance, not to mention that it allows customers to shop, then leave the store without having to stop and pay.
“Ask Alexa” Kiosk – customers can ask Alexa where items are located, what ingredients are needed for a recipe, or “whatever else comes to mind,” according to Bishop.
Prime benefits – customers paying with an Amazon Prime store card or Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Care get 5% back on their purchases.
Ratings and reviews – Bishop says Amazon Fresh may be the first supermarket to put ratings and reviews on shelf labels “to more quickly raise awareness of what makes the products different and to tap into experience sharing and the social media community.”