A refresh for Amazon Fresh!

It’s been 3 years since the Amazon opened their first grocery store in Woodland HIlls. Back then, the big draw was a smart shopping cart.

But the company has learned a lot about selling groceries since then.

Now, it’s time for a revamp.

Stores in Irvine, Pasadena, Woodland Hills and around the nation are getting a remodel with a lighter, brigher look that’s easier to navigate. They’re also stocked with a much wider selection of products.

“We’ve worked every hard on selection, 3000 products have come into this store,” said Claire Peters, Vice President at Amazon Fresh. “Customers told us that from a selection point of view, they want all the products for a main grocery shop.”

Recently, I met up with Peters to get a look at the new and improved Woodland Hills location, which now has a Krispy Kreme inside, too.

One big change: Grocery delivery and pickup, once reserved for Prime members, is now open to anyone with an Amazon account.

Deliveries might have a fee, but pickup is free.

Amazon recently lowered the threshhold for free delivery for Prime members to $100. When it first launched, it was a mere $35!

Soon, Whole Foods locations will offer pickup and delivery, too.

“We wanted to make sure we could give as many customers in the us access to grocery delivery as possible, and that’s why we’ve done it,” explained Peters.

Technology is still a big part of the shopping experience at Amazon Fresh.

There are Echo devices around the store that let you ask Alexa questions like where products are located. You can also ask for a receipe, scan a QR code and have the ingredent list sent to your shopping list.

Also new: Self-Checkout, but Amazon says traditional cashiers are still an option.

As for the high tech Dash shopping cart, that’s also getting an upgrade. It now fits four grocery bags at once, there’s a larger, more useful screen and you can now take it out to your car.

I love how the screen shows a running total of your spending.

Although Amazon is an expert in online retail, it’s physical stores have been hit or miss. They’ve closed various concepts including their bookstores and clothing stores.

But, the company announced it will continue to open new grocery stores in 2024, something analysts were wondering about.

“Good grocers listen to their customers deeply. They invent, they pivot and they do everything they can to ease the shopping trip, ease the burden. And in some cases, do I dare say even make it a bit more fun,” concluded Peters.