A shopping plaza south of Seattle in Federal Way, Wash., has a Fresh look, as Amazon is getting set to open another of its physical grocery stores.
GeekWire spotted signage on the Amazon Fresh location at The Commons, a 759,000-square-foot mall at 1928 S. Commons, 22 miles from Seattle. The mall is currently anchored by Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Century Theaters and Kohl’s stores.
The location for the grocery store on the west side of the mall is a former Sears store, which closed in April 2018. A Macy’s store at The Commons also closed, in April 2021. Both longtime retail brands have closed multiple stores in recent years in the face of changing customer habits — and the rise of Amazon and other e-commerce retailers.
Amazon did not yet have to details to share on an opening date for the store, when contacted by GeekWire.
Amazon currently has three of its branded grocery stores in Washington state: at the Factoria shopping center in Bellevue, Wash.; on South Jackson Street in Seattle; and an Amazon Go Grocery on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Signage has also gone up for a new store in North Seattle at 13025 Aurora Ave. N.
There are 23 Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S.
Some of the locations use Amazon’s cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology, which started in Amazon Go convenience stores and has spread to Fresh locations. The technology, which enables shoppers to grab items and leave the store without standing in a checkout line, is being used in the new Bellevue store but not in the Central District location.
In addition to traditional checkouts, the Federal Way location will feature Just Walk Out tech, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed.
Amazon is also also bringing Just Walk Out to two Whole Foods stores starting this year and the technology is now used in four food and beverage stores inside the new Climate Pledge Arena, where the Seattle Kraken started NHL play in October.
Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell told the Federal Way Mirror last year that helping The Commons property was a focus of the city’s economic development plans.
“Unfortunately I think the state of retail is changing based on consumer patterns in regards to online purchasing and the way people engage in the marketplace,” Ferrell said. “But I still think there’s a need and a desire by people to do shopping in person.”
Amazon opened the first Fresh store in Woodland Hills, Calif., in August 2020. It currently has locations in California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Amazon has been expanding its brick-and-mortar grocery business across the country, following its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, as it tries to take a bigger bite of the $750 billion U.S. grocery industry.