(Pocket-lint) – Amazon has opened its first Fresh grocery store for in-person shopping starting this week, though only on an invite-only basis to start. The store will open to the public in the coming weeks, the company has confirmed.
Fresh is meant to be a cheaper option to Amazon-owned Whole Foods stores, according to CBNC. Located in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, the Fresh store sells groceries from national and local brands as well as food that has been prepared on site, such as pizza.
It does not use cashierless (“Just Walk Out”) technology, but shoppers do get to use Amazon’s Dash Carts, which are equipped with cameras and sensors. To use these carts, you log-in using the Amazon app, and then the cart can identify which items you place inside it, allowing you to automatically pay without having to wait in line at the checkout. It works with shopping lists you make with Alexa, too.
Amazon said shoppers will also be able to use Echo Show devices around its Fresh store to help aid their shopping experience.
In comparison, Amazon Go grocery stores, which are thought to be a third smaller than the new 35,000 square-foot Fresh store, use Amazon’s Just Walk Out tech, or a series of overhead cameras with pressure-sensitive shelves, which can identify what you pick up and want to buy.
Although this is the first time Fresh has opened for in-person shopping, the store has been fulfilling online orders since April. Amazon offers free same-day delivery for Prime members and in-store pickup options for online orders at the service counter or dedicated pick-up parking spots.
Amazon hasn’t said whether its online-only Fresh stores in Chicago and in Irvine and Northridge, California will also open to the public.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.