The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 21 September, 2021

Amazon Chicago Grocery Store

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 17 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Amazon is hiring filling 1,500 positions in the Chicago area for its new grocery store concept, the company announced Tuesday. Amazon Fresh, the technology giant’s new grocery store concept, is opening four stores in Naperville, Bloomingdale, Oak Lawn and Schaumburg.

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The expansion comes as Amazon ’s other brick-and-mortar grocery store investment, Whole Foods Markets, has seen dwindling foot traffic during the pandemic. Trips to Whole Foods in September were down 25% from a year earlier, according to, which tallies retail foot traffic from more than 30 million mobile devices.

The high-tech shopping experience will include the option to use Dash Carts, which use cameras, sensors and scales to identify the items selected and ring them up, allowing customers to skip the checkout line. Terminals outfitted with voice-enabled Alexa, Amazon ’s personal assistant technology, will help shoppers locate products and offer recipe suggestions.

The Fresh concept is focused on convenience as well as low prices, such as 15-cent bananas and rotisserie chicken for $4.97. Conventional grocers like Jewel and Mariano’s, which have similar product offerings, will face greater competition from Amazon Fresh than specialty grocers like Fresh Thyme or Standard Market that have more premium and gourmet products, said Amanda Lie, manager at Chicago -based retail consultancy McMillan Doolittle.

Amazon has announced plans for four Fresh stores in the Chicago area. Meanwhile, local independent grocers like Pete’s Fresh Market and Tony’s Fresh Market, which lack the buying power to compete on price, “will have to emphasize their local roots and superior customer service to stay competitive against Amazon Fresh, which lacks the communal ties of these independents and is more technology-focused than customer-focused,” Lie said.

Amazon has announced plans for four Fresh stores in the Chicago area, and is hiring 1,500 people at a starting pay of $15 an hour. Helping declined to say when the stores in Bloomingdale, Oak Lawn and Schaumburg might open.

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While the local debut is focused on the suburbs, the overall real estate strategy includes city locations, Helping said. Analysts have estimated the company is planning for a U.S. footprint of 2,000 physical grocery stores, including about 750 Whole Foods.

Dec 4, 2020, 11:39am CST The grocery store will occupy a former Babies R Us space, and village officials expect it to open in late summer, the newspaper reported.

The village approved the project, as well as a special-use permit for a restaurant and an 862-square-foot seating area where customers can consume purchases on-site, last August without being told the name of the company. Seattle-based Amazon has been particularly quiet about its grocery store plans, but reports have indicated the e-commerce giant could be pursuing dozens of sites in multiple cities for the concept.

Plus, Instacart is being sued by the DC attorney general, and more news to start your day Fresh, which opened in Woodland Hills, California yesterday, “is designed from the ground up to offer a seamless grocery shopping experience, whether customers are shopping in- store or online,” Jeff Helping, VP of Amazon Fresh stores, told Progressive Grocer.

I've to make sure Jeff Bezos, who added $35 billion to his net worth this year during a pandemic that has resulted in widespread unemployment and food insecurity, has more opportunities to profit! Cheesecake Factory has allegedly been keeping employees from being public about positive coronavirus tests.

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The Met’s reopening is good news for the hot dog vendors that set up outside. The Coca-Cola Co. is restructuring its business, and offering “a voluntary separation program” to 4,000 employees.

Amazon will open Amazon Go grocery stores in Richmond, Washington and Washington D.C., as well as traditional grocery locations in North Hollywood, California and three suburbs of Chicago, reports Geek Wire. Naperville is undeniably suburban, one side is white picket fences around moderately large cookie cutter homes and shabby strip malls.

Basically half of it is on par with some better villages in the western burbs. Enlarge / Amazon Go Grocery's first location in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill.

As our staff's sole Seattle resident, I pull the short straw of testing these by default. The walkable square footage of Amazon Go Grocery is comparable to a “smaller” Trader Joe's shop, or double an average 7-11.

Worse, the cameras are clearly visible in terms of item-grabbing sight lines. A free wine tote bag is great, but it comes with a looming Orwellian presence.


The newest addition to Amazon Go Grocery is a massive selection of produce. I wonder if this giant batch of melons is isolated because they need more precise camera tracking.

From what our sources tell us, the store's tracking of merchandise is handled almost entirely by the sensors that hover above shoppers. Amazon Go Grocery differs with its Meat & Seafood selection of raw options.

The pastry shelf isn't manned, but it's constantly refilled with donuts and the like. Either use the touchscreen-controlled espresso machine for a cost per drink, or pay a flat fee for a cup with refills while you're in the shop.

This week, when I got word that the latter concept was expanding into something called Amazon Go Grocery, complete with a much larger selection of items to buy, I knew what I had to do. I had to steal from its newest product line, one that's much harder to carefully track with a mix of RGB and infrared sensors: produce.

Once the app has your Amazon information, it will generate a unique QR code. During this brief pause, the shop's cameras capture your likeness and begin tracking your every step and action.

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This gallery is dedicated to the instructions that are shown upon installing the Amazon Go app on either iOS or Android for the first time. Amazon requires this level of scrutiny to enable its sales pitch of grab-and-go shopping.

Once you're inside, pick up any product you want, all marked with clear price labels. You can leave your phone and wallet in your pocket or bag; there's no further checkout process involved.

If you change your mind about an item you grabbed, put it back on a shelf before you leave, and don't worry about being charged for it. I haven't been to a smaller Amazon Go shop since the first one launched in 2018, so I can't speak to whether AGG's massive sensor array (pictured in the above gallery) has been implemented in the chain's smaller shops.

I certainly don't expect the ceiling of a grocery store to be the most romantic view, but I'm surprised Amazon hasn't tried to hide or obscure its terrifying Sky net system by now. But my snapping of photos and glancing at the ceiling didn't turn up any apparent specialization in the cameras.

The system that stares at boxes of cookies, à la carte donuts, bags of bread, frozen pizzas, raw chicken, lightly spritzed kale, and bags of oranges looks identical no matter where you stand and look up. Amazon has consistently remained mum on exactly how its system works, but our local sources have indicated that the entire sensing system is placed in the store's ceiling, as opposed to any pressure-sensitive pads that detect changes in weight or inventory when you pick something up.

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Advertisement The last time I tried to trick Amazon Go into coughing up freebies, I didn't have any luck. I know I confused the heck out of its default tracking system, because my second visit's receipt took a full hour to process, as opposed to my first visit's incredibly simple “grab two things, put them in bag, and leave” process.

Loose fruits and root veggies like oranges, potatoes, and watermelons differ more wildly within their own families, not to mention the battle eternally waged between the russet potato and the yam. Sometimes, I just grabbed and juggled a few produce items of different types before putting them back.

(I didn't put items back in the incorrect places for the sake of my experiment, because this shop does employ stickers, and I don't mess with retail workers. I put the rest of the bananas back in their respective bins, then walked to something I hadn't seen at an Amazon Go store before: a bathroom.

The hallway also includes a little tray outside each bathroom door where customers are encouraged to put merchandise before using the facilities. I left the only other produce in my hand at that time, a single avocado, on that tray.

Once I ducked into the bathroom, I immediately opened my backpack and put the banana in there. I probably didn't really foil the cameras with a single wacky juggle of banana bundles, I thought to myself.

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Advertisement Enlarge / Another view of Amazon Go Grocery's first location in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill. It's one thing to concede that major retail chains employ security cameras in a battle against theft.

But the AGG future appears to trade the general retail trust contract with the cost of making someone hide behind a screen to study and correct robots' attempts to do that basic, transactional job. That's in addition to the awkwardness of pulling out a phone and waiting for Amazon's app to load before walking into a store, as opposed to the organic pause-and-grab-wallet opportunity we get in the traditional retail experience (or even the rising tide of automated grocery checkout kiosks, which have their own issues).

Something unobtrusive like Apple Pay or Google Pay, which works near-instantly with a fingerprint check or face unlock and a tap of a phone's NFC system, might work. The company isn't just examining our every click, purchase, and change of heart within its digital storefronts and apps.

With an effective store -spanning sensor array, it can see exactly how people react to sights and sounds in a real-world space. None of my ridiculous juggling of beefsteak tomatoes, avocados, potatoes, and bananas stymied AGG's sensor array.

However, after leaving the restroom, I picked up two more non-produce items, totaling $6, with zero attempt to be sneaky about it. What's more, in an earlier photo gallery, you may have noticed I left an avocado on the “outside of restroom” tray.

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After that, the app clearly lost track of me, which may align with the receipt's claim of a 2-hour, 23-minute shopping trip, well above the 20 minutes I was actually there. And Amazon needed another hour and a half to conclude that I had picked up those first items, ducked into a bathroom, and then was incapacitated by a jacket-wearing madman with an identical beard and haircut.

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