An Amazon Fresh grocery store will anchor a refresh of a sprawling shopping plaza along heavily traveled Aurora Avenue North in North Seattle.
Signage is in place at the store which is still under construction at 13025 Aurora Ave. N., near the corner of North 130th Street in the Bitter Lake area of Seattle. Amazon told GeekWire Wednesday that it has not confirmed an opening date yet but that it is currently hiring for the location.
The tech giant has 18 Fresh stores open to date, including two relatively new locations in the Seattle region. A store opened in the Factoria area of Bellevue, Wash., in June and another opened in Seattle’s Central District in August.
The Amazon Fresh stores are part of Amazon’s fast-growing brick-and-mortar grocery expansion 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. The company is also building out its network of Amazon Go convenience stores, and still operates the Amazon Fresh delivery service.
According to the real estate firm Kidder Mathews, Amazon is also planning a new store south of Seattle in Federal Way, Wash., at 1928 S. Commons. Plans show that 766,705-square-foot mall is currently anchored by Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Century Theaters and Kohl’s. An employee who answered the phone Wednesday at Dick’s said the word in the plaza is that Amazon is coming in, but no signage has appeared yet.
Amazon did not comment on the Federal Way location.
Construction workers were busy moving in and out of the North Seattle location Wednesday morning. Plans identify the grocery space as 35,715 square feet. Spaces of 15,000 and 8,800 square feet on either side of the store are still available. The 9.98-acre Aurora Shopping Center is already home to a Planet Fitness location, Starbucks, Burger King, Key Bank, Aurora Donuts and more.
The closet grocery competition is across busy Highway 99, where a Sprouts Farmers Market and Asian Family Market sit in a plaza next to a Hobby Lobby.
Costco is also reportedly looking to open a location along Aurora Avenue North, just a bit north of Amazon near North 135th Street in an old Sam’s Club location. The big box chain has one other Seattle location, in SoDo.
Amazon said wages at its new store start at $16.90 per hour, with comprehensive benefits and a hiring bonus of $1,000.
The company did not share any additional information, including whether the store would feature its cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology which started in Amazon Go convenience stores and has spread to some 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.
Amazon is also bringing Just Walk Out to two Whole Foods stores starting next year and the technology will be used in four food and beverage stores inside the new Climate Pledge Arena, where the Seattle Kraken play their first home NHL game next week.
Amazon opened the first Fresh store in Woodland Hills, Calif., last year. It currently has locations in California, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C. and said Wednesday that two new stores are confirmed for New Jersey, three more in Illinois and three more in California.