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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Amazon rebrands Amazon Go Grocery to Amazon Fresh, closes Seattle-area store near Microsoft HQ

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The Amazon Go Grocery in Redmond, Wash., is closing. (GeekWire Photo / Taylor Soper)

The news: Amazon is renaming its Amazon Go Grocery brand to “Amazon Fresh” and closing its Amazon Go Grocery store in Redmond, Wash., near Microsoft’s headquarters, GeekWire has learned. The other Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood will remain open and be called “Amazon Fresh.”

Why it matters: Amazon made it a little confusing to track its various new grocery options — Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Fresh grocery stores, Amazon Fresh delivery, Whole Foods delivery, Prime Now delivery, etc. This simplifies the array of offerings a bit.

Amazon Go Grocery launched in February 2020 as a larger version of the company’s cashierless Amazon Go convenience stores. The Redmond location opened in September with a new hot food section.

Amazon in the meantime has been rolling out full-size Amazon Fresh grocery stores that feature smart grocery carts and Amazon Echo devices that help shoppers navigate aisles. The company next month will transition employees from the Redmond Amazon Go Grocery location to the new Amazon Fresh store opening in the Factoria neighborhood in Bellevue, Wash .— one of two Amazon Fresh locations in the Seattle area.

The concept of Amazon Go Grocery — larger than Amazon Go, with cashierless tech — will live on. The rebranded Capitol Hill location is described as a smaller format of Amazon Fresh. The larger format Amazon Fresh stores do not have the cashierless tech and still offer traditional checkout lines.

What’s next? Amazon is growing out its Amazon Fresh grocery store footprint and continues opening more Amazon Go stores. The other Amazon Fresh store set to open in the Seattle region will be at Jackson Street in the Central District. Another could be opening at a former New Seasons Market location in Ballard.

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