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Amazon Fresh brings back ‘Dash Carts’

Amazon Fresh brings back ‘Dash Carts’
Amazon Fresh brings back ‘Dash Carts’

Amazon has announced that it’s planning to open more Amazon Fresh stores later this year, but it won’t have the Just Walk Out technology. The retailer giant has realized that the technology currently available in its Fresh Stores is not working. After nearly four years, it’s returning to ‘Dash Carts,’ introduced during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. 

CNBC reports that the cashier-less technology used, which is central to the Amazon Go concept, was not as autonomous as expected. The reason for the about-turn is it had “doubts on its effectiveness.”

Why go back to Dash Carts? Dash Carts is when customers scan their groceries and add them to their carts. It’s not the most revolutionary technology advancement, but rather a more straightforward way to offer a more cost-effective solution to the traditional checkout lines. 

Quicker groceries at Amazon

Amazon’s global grocery stores chief Tony Hoggett says it’s introducing a Whole Foods Market Daily Shop. With integrated micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) inside the Whole Foods stores it’s set to streamline Amazon’s online grocery fulfillment. It aims to handle 500 orders daily.

The new quick-shop store is “just one example of how Whole Foods Market and Amazon are building a best-in-class grocery shopping experience,” says Hoggett in a social media post

Hoggett believes this will bring customers “multiple ways to shop easier.” Later this year, it is expected to launch in New York City. 

Bloomberg reports that these stores will still be small, between 650 square meters and 1,300 square meters. Amazon’s executive vice president of growth, Christina Minardi, told the media house: “The introduction of home delivery has changed customers’ mentality. People want things fast.”

Amazon’s fresh grocery game plan

Amazon has been finding it challenging to compete with its Amazon Fresh against others like Walmart and Target. 

ALSO READ: War of the supermarkets: Battle for last-mile delivery territory

In the competitive grocery market, retailers are battling it out for superiority in customer convenience. According to retail experts, Walmart and Target leverage their physical stores as a strategic upper hand against Amazon and other digital-first retailers.

While Amazon Fresh is opening more in the coming months, it is attempting to bridge that gap to avoid eating Target and Walmart’s dust. 

Experts respond 

Digital supply chain expert Brittain Ladd believes the strategy to have MFCs inside the Whole Foods stores is an “ambitious service offering.” He thinks Amazon aims to combine different retailers’ orders into a single customer delivery.

“Alternatively, retailers may fulfill orders independently while Amazon consolidates deliveries. This approach could revolutionize the efficiency of online order fulfillment and delivery services.”

Delivery executive Gary Newbury believes Amazon could have had a better experience. “They’d be better to look at existing players in the grocer “on-demand” space and acquire one or two smaller players.” Newbury believes Amazon must stop trying to compete in a field where it’s not supposed to. “Rather than keep having false starts, trying hard to be a physical world payer where digital skills do not seem to translate well.”

About the author

Mia is a multi-award-winning journalist. She has more than 14 years of experience in mainstream media. She's covered many historic moments that happened in Africa and internationally. She has a strong focus on human interest stories, to bring her readers and viewers closer to the topics at hand.

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