In a February interview this week with the Financial Times, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said the retailer still planned to “go big” in the physical retail space, citing a lack of “normalcy” during the COVID-19 pandemic for its shifting strategy. In addition to Fresh and Go, Amazon also owns and operates the popular Whole Foods Market chain.
The Amazon Go and Fresh formats rely on Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, which enables customers to walk into stores, scan their credit card and grab products for purchase without ever having to go through checkout. But as Retail Leader Pro analyst Elizabeth Lafontaine, the grocery pause might indicate consumers aren’t ready for such a shift.
“On the surface, making those trips more efficient for consumers using technology sounds like a winning formula, but in reality, there both needs to be consumer buy into those concepts and the ability for consumers to easily obtain product information or expertise without a store associate in place,” she said.