- Amazon is pulling out of at least half of a dozen planned Amazon Fresh Twin Cities locations, according to Axios Twin Cities.
- The news outlet reported that all six previously soon-to-open storefronts are currently marked available for sublease by Mid-America Real Estate’s Twin Cities office.
- This development comes just a few months after Amazon announced it has paused the rollout of the grocery chain, and a few weeks after reports noted the company has removed signage from several planned locations.
As Amazon reviews the performance of its recently launched grocery chain, it appears it’s reevaluating some of the real estate site selections it had previously made.
The former planned Amazon Fresh stores in the Twin Cities were to be located in Eagan, Eden Prairie, Arden Hills, Lakeville, Coon Rapids and Burnsville, according to Axios. Mid-America Real Estate company declined to comment on these stores now being listed for sublease.
Axios Twin Cities reported in 2021 that Amazon had plans to bring its Fresh chain to the Twin Cities grocery market, but the online retailer never formally confirmed its move into the Midwestern city. By early January 2023, the brick-and-mortar supermarkets were still sitting empty, the news site claimed.
Amazon also did not provide any further details when Grocery Dive reached out about the empty store locations, pointing instead to comments from its CEO Andy Jassy in a recent letter to shareholders and the company’s February earnings call. The company chief noted the pause on Amazon Fresh openings but expressed support for the chain and the need for Amazon to have a significant grocery business.
Jassy reinforced the sentiment in his letter to shareholders last month: “[W]e need a broader physical store footprint given that most of the grocery shopping still happens in physical venues.”
The letter continued: “Amazon Fresh is the brand we’ve been experimenting with for a few years, and we’re working hard to identify and build the right mass grocery format for Amazon scale.”
Local news outlets have recently reported Amazon removing signage from several not yet-opened Amazon Fresh stores around the country that had been sitting empty for months at a time, including locations in Rockville, Maryland; Arlington Heights, Illinois; Saugus, Massachusetts; and Clearwater, Florida.
Meanwhile, analysts recently told Insider they think Amazon should consider purchasing up to hundreds of the locations Kroger and Albertsons could divest to help green-light their merger plans with the Federal Trade Commission. This could allow Amazon to bolster its brick-and-mortar grocery presence, the analysts told the publication.