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10/29/2021

Amazon Fresh gives grocery chains a new competitor

Fresh off its introduction of Aplenty, new data from Placer.ai shows that Amazon Fresh locations continue to thrive one year since the first location opened.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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The location intelligence company Placer.ai continues to analyze foot traffic at grocery and retail stores, and in its latest report, the group found that Amazon Fresh’s physical grocery stores are giving grocery chains some stiff competition. 

A recent study by Placer.ai showed an increase in grocery store foot traffic in Q3 of 2021 while restaurant visits decreased, showing more consumers have adjusted to cooking meals at home.

Amazon’s venture into the offline world of grocery sales is continuing to show promise after a successful Q2 of this year. With the first Amazon Fresh store opening in Woodland Hills, Calif., a little more than a year ago, Amazon has expanded to 19 locations of Amazon Fresh, and now has stores in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington and Virginia. That expansion has led to an increase in foot traffic to the various locations.

In spring, the retailer introduced Aplenty, its robust own brand with snacks and center-store items. According to the data, visits spiked around the time of the private brand's release.

 

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Overall, Amazon Fresh’s visits have grown substantially since the first location opened in September 2020. Placer.ai numbers show visits grew by more than 1,000% as of August 2021. They declined a bit in September, however, with more recent data showing visits up more than 800%.

The report dove deeper into eight locations that all opened on or before February 2021 in California and Illinois. The key takeaway was that the “the relative steadiness in visits shows that a core group of customers has added a trip to Amazon Fresh to their regular grocery routine, indicating that Amazon Fresh has successfully integrated into the grocery mix for the neighborhoods it entered.”

Finally, the report also analyzes cross-shopping patterns to identify Amazon Fresh’s key competitors in its given markets. Looking at data from four locations, Ralphs and Trader Joe’s appear to be Amazon’s chief rivals so far, though other competitors include Whole Foods, Jewel-Osco (an Albertsons banner in Illinois), Aldi and Vons (Albertsons).