LOS ANGELES — The inevitable became the official on Monday when Amazon posted job listings seeking workers for a new grocery store and acknowledged that the initial location near Los Angeles would open sometime in 2020.
Seattle-based Amazon’s plans to start a chain of U.S. grocery outlets apart from its Whole Foods stores have been known for some time, but the company made no official announcement until the job listings were reported by CNet, which also obtained a statement from the company.
The job listings indicate Amazon is looking for a store lead and associates in grocery, overnight and foodservice at a store in Woodland Hills, Calif. The listings seek employees for what Amazon described as “a vibrant store culture based on customer obsession, trust, respect, integrity, continuous learning and fun.”
In remarks to CNet, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the Woodland Hills site would open in 2020. The statement did not specify a banner name.
The store would be distinct from Whole Foods Market, the natural and organic chain Amazon acquired in 2017, the spokesperson told CNet. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the store opening plans to CSP Daily News but declined to offer additional details. The store would also be distinct from the smaller-format Amazon Go convenience store, in which customers do not have to perform a conventional checkout.
“When it comes to grocery shopping, we know customers love choice, and this new store offers another grocery option that's distinct from Whole Foods Market, which continues to grow and remain the leader in quality natural and organic food,” the spokesperson said, according to CNet.
The move confirms widespread speculation that Amazon was at work on a distinct grocery format as it seeks a greater piece of the $800 billion industry. Amazon is an influential player in online grocery through its web store and Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, and it generates in excess of $16 billion in sales through Whole Foods stores.
Last week, Amazon said it would lift additional subscription fees on its Amazon Fresh service, providing “free” fresh grocery delivery for all paid Prime members.