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August 30, 2022

Amazon Fresh plans to open grocery store in Willow Grove

The tech giant continues to expand into the Philadelphia region with several additional markets in the works

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Amazon Fresh Willow Grove PA IMAGES/SIPA USA

Amazon Fresh is in the midst of a U.S. expansion that is expected to bring several new grocery stores to the Philadelphia region. The company has applied for a liquor license at the Willow Grove Shopping Center in Montgomery County.

Another Amazon Fresh grocery store could be on its way to the Philadelphia region, with plans taking shape at the Willow Grove Shopping Center in Montgomery County.

The e-commerce giant has been expanding its tech-forward supermarket concept over the last year, opening stores in Warrington, Bucks County and Broomall, Delaware County

Amazon Fresh has now applied for a Pennsylvania liquor license at 102 Park Avenue, the address of the shuttered Barnes & Noble bookstore, according to filings with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. 

Federal Realty Investment Trust, which leases space in the 183,000-square-foot shopping center, notes in its marketing materials that a multimillion dollar renovation will include a "new-to-market grocery concept." The shopping center is nearby the Willow Grove Park Mall, off Route 611, and currently is anchored by Marshalls and Five Below (apart from Barnes & Noble, Modell's was once another long-term tenant there, with the memorable Zino's Pizza below it).

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the company's plans when contacted Tuesday.

Considered a lower-cost alternative to Amazon's Whole Foods brand, Amazon Fresh is tailored for online shopping for pickup and delivery, with free same-day service available to Amazon Prime members.

The store's Dash Cart also provides an appealing option for small- to medium-sized shopping trips, with a digital display that keeps track of a shopper's total cost as items are added to the cart. Those who use Dash Carts can skip the checkout line for easier payment.

Amazon Fresh now has 41 locations in the United States and several more expected to open in the region.

In Philadelphia, stores are planned for a mixed-use development at Fifth and Spring Garden streets in Northern Liberties and in the Red Lion Plaza on Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia, where the company applied for a liquor license last year.

Additional stores are planned at the Brookwood Shopping Center on Street Road in Bensalem and along Route 1 in Langhorne, both in Bucks County. Another Delaware County store is expected to open in Havertown at 403 West Chester Pike, formerly an LA Fitness.

Amazon's push to expand in the grocery space is part of the company's larger strategy to take on Walmart and other competitors, utilizing its vast network of fulfillment centers and warehouses for speedier service.