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09/13/2022

Amazon Go brings suburban format to Los Angeles

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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New Amazon Go suburban stores are opening.

Amazon Go is continuing its expansion in the suburbs, this time in the Greater Los Angeles market.

Amazon is broadening the portfolio of its Amazon Go checkout-free convenience concept with a new format for suburban locations. The new format, which is still called Amazon Go, was initially announced in January 2022 and debuted in Mill Creek, Wash., in April 2022.

Now, the Amazon Go suburban format is coming to the Los Angeles area. On Tuesday, Sep. 13, an Amazon Go store measuring 2,150 sq. ft. in front of house; and 4,100 sq. ft. overall opened in Whittier, Calif.

Another location will soon open in Torrance, Calif. That store is set to measure approximately 2,850 sq. ft. in front of house and 6,100 sq. ft. overall.

The new Amazon Go location features Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, and is designed to offer customers a quick shopping experience to pick up grab-and-go food, snacks and beverage items and a few everyday essentials. 

The retailer’s Just Walk Out technology leverages a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning that enables shoppers to shop the store, pick out what they want and skip the checkout when they’re done. When shoppers arrive, they open the Amazon app, tap “In-Store Code,” and scan in with the QR code presented.

Further store amenities include packageless returns and Amazon Hub Lockers, which function as automated self-storage units for pickup of online orders.

The new Amazon Go offers an expanded selection of grab-and-go food and beverage items, including a broader range of beer and wine, and everyday essential items. It also features a new made-to-order kitchen, which offers freshly prepared, customizable breakfast and lunch items.

In addition, this store offers a selection of new specialty beverages and self-serve Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Other offerings include a variety of new specialty beverages, including Starbucks freshly brewed coffee and espresso, and local food and beverage items.

“We first launched our suburban Amazon Go store format in Mill Creek in April 2022 to serve customers in a location that is closer to their home,” Amazon said in an emailed statement to Chain Store Age. “We are excited to open more of these stores in the Los Angeles area.”

Amazon opened the first Amazon Go in January 2018, in Seattle. The concept has since expanded to 28 locations across the United States, including two “Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go” locations jointly operated with Starbucks in mid-town Manhattan. In addition, Amazon debuted Amazon Go Grocery, since rebranded to Amazon Fresh, in February 2020; and also operates an Amazon Fresh grocery store in the Ealing section of London.  

Beyond Amazon Go, Amazon has been busy developing store formats that leverage its Just Walk Out frictionless shopping platform. In August 2020, Amazon introduced a checkout-free grocery format called Amazon Fresh. The company designed the format from the ground up to offer a seamless shopping experience with extra perks for members of the Amazon Prime paid loyalty program.

Amazon now operates 43 Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S., including 17 in California, nine in Illinois, five in Washington State, five in Virginia, two each in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and one each in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

In addition to being offered at Amazon Go convenience stores and Amazon Fresh grocery stores, Just Walk Out has also been licensed to other third-party retailers.