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Food and drink / Retail

DC’s first Amazon Fresh store opens in Franconia, featuring smart technology for groceries

The smart grocery store has item tracking and an Alexa-powered shopping list. Additional stores are planned for Logan Circle and Chevy Chase.

Inside the first Amazon Fresh store in Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy of Amazon)

Just weeks after it announced plans for East Coast expansion, Amazon opened the D.C. area’s first Amazon Fresh store in Franconia, Virginia, on Thursday.

Not to be confused with another big opening from late last week— the Taco Bell Cantina in Columbia Heights —Amazon’s 30,000-square-foot store offers both grocery items and prepared foods. But while the new Amazonย Fresh looks like a normal grocery store, it is tricked out with all kinds of tech goodies. The goal of implementing the technology appears to be saving time, allowing people to plan ahead (could this mean the death of spontaneous snack additions to the cart?), and skip the checkout line.

Here’s how the shopping experience works: After signing in to a cart with a QR code, shoppers can enjoy the perks of tracking items in a cart as they are added, having a shopping list organized by aisle via Alexa and asking questions ofย Amazon blue kiosks in store. The Dash Cart technology also shows any coupons available on the items in a cart, or on the list.

After trying it out, however, D.C. resident Scott Winship indicated the tech giant still has a little bit of work to do in order to get the Amazon Fresh stores perfected.

“Just tried out Dash Cart at Amazon Fresh store, which rings up food as you go and has other cool features,” Winship said in a tweet. “But it’s clear we’re at the Pocket PC/Palm Pilot stage of development here. Tantalizing, but frustrating. But a glimpse of the not-at-all-distant future.”


It’s one of several stores planned for the DMV area, so keep on the lookout for more tech-powered grocery shopping in the coming months. Additional stores are planned for Logan Circle, Chevy Chase, Maryland and Warrington, Pennsylvania. In 2019, the company also inked a deal for a retail store in Northwest D.C.

Franconia’s Amazon Fresh store is open now for anyone to drop by.

Companies: Amazon

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