Amazon is ditching the Amazon Go Grocery brand, closing one of its two stores by that name and re-christening the other under its Amazon Fresh label, the company confirmed Tuesday.
Amazon will close the recently opened Go Grocery store in Redmond in early June, Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden said in an email. Amazon did not respond on the record about whether the store — which is across the street from Fred Meyer and Asian Family Market, and two blocks from Trader Joe’s and Mayuri Foods Grocery — is underperforming.
Amazon’s other Go Grocery store, on Capitol Hill, will remain open and will be rebranded to Amazon Fresh, the company’s midpriced grocery brand, Golden said. GeekWire first reported Amazon’s plans to phase out the Go Grocery brand.
Amazon Go stores are so called because they’re equipped with technology to replace human cashiers, enabling customers to grab products off the shelves and walk out of the store without stopping at a checkout kiosk. The company pioneered what it calls its “Just Walk Out” technology in small convenience stores, then expanded to the slightly larger Go Grocery format.
Amazon said it was ending the Go Grocery line to “simplify the experience for our customers,” Golden said. The company’s stable of physical retail brands has grown rapidly in the past four years, creating some confusion for shoppers. In addition to the smaller Amazon Go and Amazon Go Grocery stores, Amazon operates two full-scale grocery brands: Whole Foods, which it acquired in 2017, and Amazon Fresh, where products are priced to compete with grocery behemoths such as Safeway and Kroger, which owns the Fred Meyer and QFC chains. (Amazon Fresh is also the name of the company’s on-demand grocery delivery service.)
Last year, the Seattle commerce giant seems to have begun quietly expanding Just Walk Out technology to under-construction Amazon Fresh grocery stores, which, so far, have employed human cashiers. An array of cameras and sensors similar to those underpinning Amazon’s cashierless technology are being installed at an under-construction Amazon Fresh grocery in Ballard, for instance. Amazon declined to confirm whether it is installing Just Walk Out technology at the Ballard store or other Amazon Fresh locations.
Employees at Amazon’s Go Grocery store in Redmond will transition to an Amazon Fresh location in Factoria, slated to open this year.