- Amazon is phasing out its Go Grocery brand just over a year after launching it, the company confirmed Tuesday.
- The e-tailer will continue to operate its first Go Grocery location in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and rebrand it under the Amazon Fresh name. The format’s second location in nearby Redmond, Washington, will close and transition employees over to a soon-to-open Amazon Fresh store in Bellevue, an Amazon spokesperson wrote in an email. The news was first reported by GeekWire.
- The move streamlines Amazon’s grocery store formats as it focuses on rapidly building out Amazon Fresh locations.
Go Grocery surfaced last year as the latest weapon in Amazon's growing food retail arsenal — a small format, tech-enhanced grocery store for urban markets. But with the rapid growth of Amazon Fresh stores and reports noting those Fresh stores in the U.S. plan to incorporate the same "Just Walk Out" technology that Go stores have, the additional format has become superfluous for the company.
Its closure also signals that Amazon is focused on a tighter collection of grocery assets than in the past. Amazon’s strategy here has included everything from the Go stores to Prime Pantry, Whole Foods and Fresh. The phasing out of Go Grocery joins the closure of Prime Pantry this year as the company looks to, as the spokesperson said on Tuesday, "simplify the experience for our customers."
Amazon had last year confirmed an additional Go Grocery store slated for Washington, D.C. The spokesperson declined to say how many locations the company had in the pipeline, noting only that Amazon looks forward to operating Amazon Fresh stores in the smaller format.
Amazon Fresh is rolling out across a range of geographies and store sizes. One location in California and another soon to open in Seattle appear on the bottom floor of mixed-use developments, while other locations appear in strip malls, often taking over leases from shuttered retailers. Most stores are around 30,000-square-feet in size but three recently opened fully-autonomous Fresh stores in the U.K. occupy just 2,500 square feet.
A recent Bloomberg report noted Amazon Fresh currently has more than three dozen locations in the works across the U.S., while sources have told Grocery Dive they’ve seen evidence of more than 100 locations coming nationwide, mainly in areas with a high density of Prime members.
Amazon Go, the e-tailer's convenience store format, currently has 22 stores, three of which are temporarily closed, across four cities in the U.S., while Whole Foods has more than 500 stores and 40 additional locations in the pipeline. Last week, Whole Foods announced it’s consolidating its purchasing teams and reorganizing divisions like technology and team support.