Florida’s first Amazon supermarket could open soon without checkout lines, Alexa assistants say

No checkout lines. Customers guided by Alexa assistants. It’s all part of Amazon’s vision for its national grocery chain, which is coming to South Florida.

Amazon Fresh, the company’s new supermarket chain, appears to be planning to open its first Florida location in West Boca – with construction nearing completion of a grocery store in the huge Boca Upscale Shopping Complex via Glades Road, a short distance east of State Road 7.

While there is no official word yet for the completion and opening date of the grocery store, it would be the latest addition to a growing number of businesses at the shopping destination.

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Bonefish Grill, Just Salad, BurgerFi, Chick-fil-A, and Sloan’s Ice Cream are among the stores that have opened, one by one, at the $ 200 million resort, located on 13 acres. Every weekend evening, the car park is full and customers frequent the many shops there.

“Go on Friday night, people are buzzing,” said Brian Schmier, CEO of Schmier Property Group and lead developer of the Uptown Boca project. “We had to build something that had sufficient critical mass and people wanted to go. We think we’ve provided a bit of everything. And within the community, “it was extremely well received.

Amazon officials did not respond to questions from the Sun Sentinel, and Schmier declined to say whether an Amazon Fresh store was coming, citing a confidentiality agreement. On a recent visit to Uptown Boca, workers wearing yellow vests and white helmets were busy with the construction of the supermarket building.

Technology-driven purchasing

Amazon Fresh stores use a technology-driven approach to serving shoppers: stores rely on a variety of cameras and sensors to track the items shoppers pick up from the shelves. As customers leave, the store has kept an eye on and knows what to charge customers on their Amazon Prime accounts, eliminating the need for cash lines, Bloomberg says.

Customers are also asking for help through specialized Alexa kiosks in all stores.

While Amazon has kept a low profile, records submitted to the county describe the Uptown Boca project as a full-scale supermarket, including notes such as details of providing “cart storage.” The building will cover 35,000 square feet, according to county records. The Uptown Boca website also notes that an “organic grocery store” will soon be part of the complex.

News organizations such as the Palm Beach Post and the Real deal reported the imminent arrival of Amazon Fresh, helping to generate local buzz. Uptown Boca’s social media accounts were peppered with remarks such as “Patiently waiting for Amazon to open” and “When is Amazon Fresh ready to open?” “

A growing presence

While Amazon is known for its dominance in online retailing, it has slowly started to expand its footprint into physical locations. In September, Amazon launched its first food store in California and has since added 11 more stores in California and Illinois. The company plans to launch more than 30 additional locations across the country, according to Bloomberg.

Schmier said he looks forward to Uptown Boca to grow even more as a destination in West Boca.

“Since the opening of Lazy Dog and Bonefish Grill, the traffic in the center has been incredible,” Schmier said.

Editor-in-chief Juan Ortega contributed to this report.

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