Visited a new Amazon Fresh store

Photo Credit: SI

Made it to the new Amazon Fresh store in Franconia, VA. Combined with the futuristic Amazon Dash Cart technology, and some innovative signage, the store is an interesting shopping experience.

At 30,000 square feet, this is a suburban D.C. supermarket that features Amazon devices, some Amazon brands, and a full selection of grocery products.

Customers who want to take advantage of Amazon’s game-changing Dash Cart tech (employing computer vision algorithms and sensor fusion technology) need to sign in with a QR code on their Amazon app, then as they begin shopping, would place their groceries in their cart, which now identifies and tracks the products.

At the end of the supermarket experience, Amazon shoppers can now bypass the traditional checkout lanes, walk through a special lane designated for the Dash Cart tech, and leave the store as the cart charges the customer’s credit card. The receipt is emailed to the customer.

Currently there are 14 Amazon Fresh stores open in California, Illinois, Washington, and Virginia, with reportedly up to another 28 stores planned.

The future of retailing appears to be here. I’ve seen it firsthand.

New Amazon Fresh Supermarket in Alexandria,VA

In the world of brick and mortar supermarket retail, cutting edge innovation is a destination.

In 2021, the parent company of Whole Foods (Amazon) is introducing potentially game changing technology in their new supermarket brand Amazon Fresh.

Last week Amazon Fresh opened a new supermarket near Alexandria, VA, with their new checkout-free shopping tech, which is as cutting edge as one can get, maybe just short of flying cars.

Below is a video from Miyo Koszeghy, giving a tour of the new Amazon Fresh.

I expect to visit this store in coming weeks, so more to come.

On Better Managing Inventory at Retail

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday on efforts by CFOs of apparel retailers to reduce inventory, rent, close stores as needed, and have fewer promotions to drive up profitability .

From WSJ: “Clothing chains including American Eagle Outfitters Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch Co. , which primarily target teenagers and young adults, are adjusting their business models after a year in which many of their stores were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Online sales as a proportion of revenue continue to grow, which reduces the need to hold as much inventory and operate as many stores as before the pandemic.”

More from WSJ: “General and specialty retailers on average held 69 days of inventory outstanding in 2020, down from 72 in 2019, according to Hackett Group Inc., a consulting firm which reviewed the 1,000 biggest nonfinancial U.S. companies by revenue. Internet and catalog retailers last year on average had 39 days of inventory outstanding, compared with 48 in 2019.”

Quick Take: Wanted to reference inventory levels, comparing brick and mortar and internet selling. As the article states, and I can concur, we’re in an era of less is more at retail. Between supply chain bottlenecks, inflation, freight costs, and COVID era consumer demand, retailers are challenged to better manage inventory, and see a window for margin and profit gains, while focusing on impulse sales, with products at higher prices.