WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA) — Amazon is making another move offline by opening its first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills Thursday to customers.
Amazon says it is sending invites to “select customers” in Woodland Hills before opening the store widely to the public. Shoppers who want to check out the new store along Topanga Canyon Boulevard are being asked to bring the emailed invitation with them in order to get in.
Krystle Hriczo visited the new store on Thursday and said she was happy to have it as an addition to the neighborhood.
“I don’t really use the apps,” she said. “I have Amazon deliver to me, and that’s about it. So, I like the idea of having a store I can come into and do my shopping.”
Ashley Esqueda, a senior editor at CNET, said that brick-and-mortar grocery stores are yet another example of an industry that Amazon is trying to capitalize on.
“The grocery industry is a trillion dollar industry annually,” she said. “This is obviously a place they would love to make some money.”
The store actually opened in April, but temporarily as a fulfillment center as demand for groceries surged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Amazon says the new store will offer same-day delivery and pickup of groceries, along with its new Amazon Dash Cart, which will allow customers to skip the checkout line to pay for their purchases. The store will also feature Alexa to help customers find items.
Esqueda said the use of this new technology is a plus, especially during the pandemic.
“The less human contact that we have when we go out, the better,” she said. “It might be surprising on its face to say, ‘Oh my gosh, Amazon is launching a new idea right in the middle of such a tumultuous time in our economy.’ But it actually makes a lot of sense in the way of what people want and need in this moment.”
The store will also serve as an Amazon.com pick-up and package-less return site. Amazon also owns Whole Foods and smaller Amazon Go stores.