My first walk around an Amazon Fresh — few low- and no-salt products, few deals

Amazon Fresh Stores have come to the Chicago area, with one now open in the northern suburb of Morton Grove, only a short drive from my house. So I went to check it out. I was disappointed to see none of my favorite low-salt and no-salt products on shelves.

Prices were comparable, or sometimes higher, than other mainstream supermarkets and the only sales I saw were in the produce section.

Produce such as potatoes are priced by the item rather than by the pound.
Cameras hang from the ceiling to track your movements.
Prices, such as these for soft drinks, are comparable to other stores.
Produce greeted me as I entered.
I went to a new Amazon Fresh store recently.

This is a high-tech store. You can shop and checkout with the Amazon app on your phone, with no need to wait on checkout lines. But the day I visited, everyone was on checkout lines, I saw no one going out through the automatic areas where you could scan your app to pay and exit.

Continue reading “My first walk around an Amazon Fresh — few low- and no-salt products, few deals”

Where food stores are headed — no help and lots of help

Food retailers, from supermarkets to tiny convenience stores, are changing as consumer tastes change and as the pandemic brings about changes in food shopping behavior and at-home eating. Where will it all end?

This piece I read recently looks at two extremes evolving in today’s food retail space — stores with virtually no customer-facing employees and markets that look more like restaurants with lots of employees interacting, and selling, to customers.

No surprise that the store with few employees is from Amazon which is always trying to sell everything faster. Eliminating things like store checkout lines can do that in a supermarket. So Amazon has begun opening stores called Amazon Fresh where people check themselves out as they shop.

At the other end of the spectrum is Dom’s Kitchen in Chicago, started by former executives for the Mariano’s chain (and the defunct Dominick’s chain before that) and embodying a lot of concepts first tried by East Coast-favorite Wegman’s years ago. Dom’s is full of counters where you can buy cooked food to take home and eat. It has some packaged grocery items too, but they definitely play second fiddle to the take-out food.

Continue reading “Where food stores are headed — no help and lots of help”

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