November 28, 2023

Inside the store: Amazon Go’s new suburban format


After four years of directing its cashierless stores to densely populated urban markets, Amazon Go wants to see if it can appeal to suburban commuters and on-the-go families.

On Tuesday, the brand known for pioneering Just Walk Out technology opened its first suburban store in Mill Creek, Wash., about 25 miles north of Seattle. It is the largest store in the fleet at 6,150 square feet, with a retail area of ​​approximately 3,250 square feet. And it offers a wider range of items, including more multi-service packs of snacks and groceries than traditional Go stores, as well as fresh, made-to-order foods like sandwiches, salads and toast at the lawyer.

As with other Go locations, visitors can scan into the Just Walk Out system using a QR code, credit card, or by identifying themselves with the Amazon One palm scanning system.

The store incorporates some convenience store supplies as well as some of the latest gas stations appearing in convenience stores across the country. There’s a cold brew tap and two kombucha taps, made-to-order Starbucks coffee and espresso machines, an Icee dispenser, a Pinkberry frozen yogurt station, and to-go boxes stocked with everything from pizza to go. to local manufacture. donuts.

The crown jewel of the store is the made-to-order meal counter – a first for Amazon Go – where shoppers can order around 30 different items like sandwiches, salads, egg bowls and wraps using kiosks. digital.

The made-to-order meal counter

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

Unlike the short-lived Amazon subsidiary Go Grocery, the new Go store does not have a separate brand name. It comes like Amazon improves its physical storesditching disappointing 4-star, book and pop-up locations and consolidating around its Go Marketplace, Fresh, Whole Foods and all-new Amazon Style locations.

The newer Amazon Go also doesn’t offer e-commerce, which might seem surprising given its expanded assortment and suburban setting, not to mention Amazon’s prowess in the channel. But other companies have so far struggled to make money from the small orders and fast delivery that have become the definition of local delivery.

According to Ayesha Harper, general manager of Amazon Convenience, Amazon Go may have new suburban digs, but it’s still focused on a fast and compelling in-store experience.

“We always focus on people who are in a hurry, who are short on time and who really want to be on their way. They don’t spend a lot of time in our stores,” she said.

The customer service counter offers the return of parcels

Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon plans to open another suburban GB in the Los Angeles area later this year. It also continues to open city Go locations. In November, Amazon opened a store with Starbucks featuring Just Walk Out technology.

Here’s a look at Amazon Go’s new suburban format.

Let’s eat

Digital control terminal

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

Other Amazon Go stores offered a large assortment of prepared fresh foods. But the Mill Creek location is the first to have a made-to-order meal counter.

Harper said the more than two dozen selections, which span all three dining occasions, are unique to Amazon Go and have been developed over time by the company’s in-house culinary team. Shoppers enter their order, adding custom ingredients and instructions if desired. The kitchen staff then takes a few minutes to prepare the order, and the Just Walk Out system adds the item to shoppers’ virtual tab once the employee hands it to them, Harper said.

“We started with a much wider range of items and landed on what we think is a really great and delicious range,” she said.

For a limited time, the store is offering avocado toast and breakfast sandwiches for $3, and all sandwiches and wraps for $6. Buyers can bundle a soda fountain and fries for an additional $2.49.

The house order menu

Courtesy of Amazon Go

Many drinks (and fro-yo) on tap

In all of its other locations, Amazon Go offers coffee brewed by store staff and available in commercial carafes. The Mill Creek store is the first to offer self-serve, made-to-order machines serving 10 different Starbucks coffee beverages, including hot and cold options.

Cold brew and kombucha taps

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

Next to the coffee machines are faucet handles that dispense Health-Ade kombucha and a handle that dispenses cold brew from local maker Rise.

In true convenience store style, the store offers fountain soft drinks and a Ice machine. He also has a pinkberry self-serve frozen yogurt maker that offers two flavors and custom toppings.

Rose Frozen Yogurt Station

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

The customer service counter

Another first at the Mill Creek Amazon Go is a customer service desk where shoppers can return Amazon packages, purchase gift cards and ask questions. This is also where customers have their ID verified before entering the adjacent liquor aisle.

“They can return a package, have a meal or have a drink and just leave,” Harper said.

The customer service counter

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

A larger assortment of spirits and ready meals

Amazon Go’s assortment of wines and beers

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

A bigger footprint means more of just about everything, including alcohol. The latest Amazon Go store offers six packs plus twelve packs of beer and plenty of wine selections, including local options, for under $20. This includes Amazon’s own wine brand, Cursive.

Prepared foods include Amazon Kitchen-branded soups and reheat pizzas, pastries from local bakeries, and fresh sushi delivered daily to the store.

Amazon Kitchen brand soups and pizzas

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive


The store car park has two Volta Standard Level 2 charging stations which are free to use. For shoppers who need another type of fuel, there is a rack on the side of the store stocked with Blue Rhino propane tanks.

A Volta EV charger in the store parking lot

Jeff Wells / Grocery Dive

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