For some long-term residents of Seattle’s Central District, like Amazon recently opened a nearby grocery store, it didn’t make any sense 30 years ago. “At that time,” said 50-year-old James, who spent his entire life in the area, “this is a business owned by blacks. Black customers. The store stocks what we need.”
But standing outside the newest supermarket in the area, outside the Amazon Fresh Supermarket on the corner of 23rd Street and Jackson Street, James pointed out that although this new store does not have what those old stores do, it may be the best.
“This neighborhood has changed, and this store reflects this change,” said James, who declined to give his surname. “As the community has changed, this is a perfect choice.”
Amazon Fresh Grocery — the company’s 18th such supermarket in the country — represents the online giant’s deeper entry into the well-stocked and staffed market and the physical retail sector that has traditionally competed with it.
Different from the company’s Whole Foods chain store—— The data shows that the two companies share very few grocery customers — Amazon Fresh targets young, more cost-conscious urban customers with discount coupons, 25-cent bananas and $5 roast chicken.
But it is also obvious that Amazon Fresh, with its handmade hot sauce, small batch beer, high-tech trolley and palm scan checkout, is trying to establish a connection with the central area the company sees today, rather than what it used to be.
Historically, the area has been the center of Seattle’s black community. For decades, the neighborhood has been affordable and one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Seattle.Part of it is a by-product of design, because Racist contract written into the housing contract For many years, non-whites have been prevented from buying homes in many neighborhoods north of Seattle.
but Fast gentrification In the past 15 years-partly brought about by the boom in Amazon and related technologies-communities have become richer and more diverse. For some people, The arrival of Amazon Fresh is a continuation of this trendIt raises a central question: should Amazon be rewarded for working to solve the problems it might help create?
For Ann Emanuel, the answer is no. The 66-year-old has lived in the Central District for the past 10 years. He “didn’t like” the online retail giant or its new store in the Vulcan building. Vulcan was a development company founded by the late Microsoft Corporation. ——Founder Paul Allen.
She did admit that she needed another grocery store nearby The departure of the beloved red apple, Which is located where Amazon Fresh is now. But, she asked, must it be Amazon?
“I don’t plan to shop here,” she said after visiting the store. “I’m here more like a shopper who looks like a toilet.”
Martin Luther King County Labor Committee Deputy Director Katy Garo said that the loss of the Red Apple in the Central District is more than just a grocery choice for the community-Amazon Fresh cannot replace this loss.
“For many years, shoppers have relied on the Red Apple market to buy groceries, and the staff are like a family. Workers have spent their entire careers there because of the protection and benefits provided by union grocery work,” she said. “Sadly, this part of our community has lost gentrification, and good union work will be replaced by a company that doesn’t care about workers.”
Nevertheless, on a recent weekend, the store did not seem to be short of customers drifting through the wide, well-stocked aisles.
Marquise Brown, 44, grew up in the Central District and has a different view. He said that the people he talked to seemed to generally like the arrival of Amazon, but he added, “This community is very different from the past.”
Amazon boasted of the $17 an hour it brought to nearby areas when it opened the store. But local union representatives said the company should be willing to pay the same wages as union grocery store workers.
Gallo pointed out that Amazon’s wage rate and minimum wage employee history are hardly bragging.
“You can reliably count on Amazon Fresh to become a low-income employer in the grocery industry,” Grover said. “The turnover rate of Amazon warehouse jobs is notoriously high, which shows that workers vote with their feet to say that these jobs are bad. Whether they are grocery store workers, warehouse workers, drivers, or skilled workers, all union members can send farewells at work. Far beyond any voice currently enjoyed by most Amazon employees.”
Monty Anderson, executive secretary of the Seattle Construction and Trade Commission, said that Amazon should not brag about the wages it pays to grocery store workers until it matches the wages paid by other Seattle grocery stores.
“We want all these grocery store jobs to be family wage and welfare jobs like Fred Meyer’s,” he said, adding that the union store pays up to $25 an hour for the same work. “When (Amazon) meets these standards, it’s good.”
The Chuo-ku store represents more than just Amazon’s expansion into new areas.
The store will also be a place to test customer checkout techniques, such as Sprint trolley, It scans and bills items when they are placed in the shopping cart. The Central District store offers Dash Carts or a more traditional checkout method, where the clerk can directly charge the customer’s account through a QR code or a handheld reader scanner.
The Chuo district store does lack one of the smaller checkout facilities Amazon go Famous wine cellar: The Just Walk Out automatic checkout.
With Just Walk Out, customers register when they enter the store. A series of cameras will track the customer and the products they grab at the same time, and then automatically charge the product bill to the customer’s Amazon account without the need for a cashier.
Just Walk Out is available at another Amazon Fresh store in the Seattle area of Factoria, which opened in June but is not in the Central District. As for why it did not appear in the Central District?
“Our store offers a variety of different technologies,” a spokesperson said in an email to GeekWire.
Allegedly Just Walk Out Will be available in a new full-size Ballard store, According to the Seattle Times.