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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 Pennsylvania Amazon Fresh store 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 the Philadelphia. This would be the first store in the city, following its first Pennsylvania store that opened in Bucks County in August last year.

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 Blvd., which could indicate plans to open one of its tech-forward grocery stores in the area, Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

"Just Walk Out" Amazon Fresh stores allow customers to skip the cashier line by using various cameras and sensors to track customers as they pick up items and leave. Anything they take is charged to their Amazon account, eliminating checkout lines all together. 

However, there are in-person check outs 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 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 told PhillyVoice it has no comment on the 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 country in an effort to establish itself as a national grocery chain.

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

Another store is slated to open in Bucks County in the Brookwood Shopping Center in Bensalem, 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.

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