- Amazon is planning to hire 1,500 people for part-time, full-time and management roles at its new Amazon Fresh stores in the metro Chicago area, according to a company announcement. New hires will staff stores in Naperville, Bloomingdale, Oak Lawn and Schaumburg, Illinois.
- Associates at Amazon Fresh are trained across the entire grocery store, from customer service and cashiering to stocking shelves and picking and packing customer orders, the press release said. Employees will also get exposure to the culinary section of the store where fresh food is prepared daily. Pay starts at $15 an hour and benefits packages are available on an employee's first day.
- According to recent job postings, Amazon is also hiring grocery and food associates for seven new grocery stores in the Los Angeles metro area in addition to its recently opened Woodland Hill store.
Amazon Fresh's Chicago hiring spree underscores the scope of the retailer's grocery strategy as it prepares to open its brick-and-mortar stores in Prime-rich metro areas across the U.S.
It also points to the retailer's focus on labor efficiency. By training employees in departments across the store, Amazon can potentially staff fewer workers at any given time and flex its workforce according to demand, seasonality and other factors. The practice is fairly unique in the grocery industry, where people are traditionally hired to fill specific functions like cashier, deli clerk and e-commerce fulfillment.
According to the job postings, available roles include a "grocery associate," which works as part of the store team, and a "food service associate," which works primarily in the kitchen area.
Along with the Illinois stores, Amazon is expanding in the Los Angeles area with grocery job postings for upcoming stores in Long Beach, North Hollywood, Fullerton, Ladera Heights, Northridge, Irvine and Whittier, California. Amazon has confirmed the Irvine, Northridge and North Hollywood locations will be Amazon Fresh stores, and reportedly the Long Beach store will be an Amazon Fresh store, as well. The retailer is also reportedly planning grocery stores for Thousand Oaks and La Verne, California. The La Verne location will reportedly share space with a Kohl's department store.
The first Amazon Fresh grocery store opened its doors by invitation only in Woodland Hills, California, in August, and then to the public in September. Outside Illinois and the Golden State, three other Amazon Fresh stores are reportedly in the works in the Philadelphia metro area, and according to GeekWire there is speculation of another in Bellevue, Washington. The retail giant is eying Central Florida for future Amazon Fresh stores, according to the Orlando Business Journal.
Amazon currently employs 23,000 people in the state of Illinois in other facilities, including Whole Foods stores and Amazon Go.