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November 10, 2021

As Amazon applies for Philly liquor license, rumors begin about possible high-tech grocery store

The company opened its first Amazon Fresh store in Pennsylvania in Bucks County earlier this year

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Amazon Fresh Philadelphia PA IMAGES/SIPA USA

Amazon Fresh could be opening one of its high-tech, contactless stores in Northeast Philadelphia. This would be the first store in the city, following its first Pennsylvania store that opened in Bucks County in August 2020.

Amazon's grocery chain, Amazon Fresh, could soon be opening its first location in Philadelphia.

The company recently applied for a Pennsylvania liquor license to be used at a space in the Red Lion Plaza on Roosevelt Boulevard, which could indicate plans to open one of its tech-forward grocery stores in the area, Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

The Amazon Fresh stores feature what the company calls Just Walk Out technology that allows customers to skip the cashier lines. Instead the company tracks customers' purchases using various cameras and sensors that can detect when shoppers pick up items and leave the store. Purchases are charged to people's Amazon accounts, eliminating checkout lines all together. 

However, there will be in-person check out lines for those that want to keep the human contact, Amazon said.

The stores utilize digital carts, called Dash Carts, which tally the cost of the shopping trip as you go.

The Business Journal also reported that a leasing brochure from CBRE Inc. noted a vacant, 43,825 square foot space in the center was leased out to a national grocer, and is set to open later this year.

Amazon declined to comment to PhillyVoice about the potential new store.

Located close to George Washington High School, the Red Lion Plaza is near more than a dozen grocery stores. Giant is slated to open a new location in the area on Nov. 12.

The technology company opened its first Amazon Fresh store in August 2020, and told Bloomberg earlier this year it plans to open 28 more across the U.S. in an effort to establish itself as a national grocery chain.

There are currently 19 Amazon Fresh stores open, with one in Pennsylvania located at the Creekview Center in Warrington. 

Another store is slated to open in Bensalem, Bucks County, though an official opening date has yet to be announced.

Amazon also secured a liquor license to sell wine and beer at a store location in Broomall and applied for another license for a store in Havertown. Both of those locations are in Delaware County.


NOTE: After it this article was published, information about the forthcoming Amazon Fresh location in Bensalem, Bucks County, was corrected. Other edits also were made that did not change the content of the article.

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