SEATTLE—Amazon has officially started hiring for its new grocery store chain, reports Business Insider. The first new store is set to open in 2020 and will be in Woodlands Hills, California.
This week the company posted four new positions on its job sites: store lead, grocery associate, food service associate and an overnight grocery associate. The hourly salary starts at $15.35 for an associate-level position, and employees are required to work up to 10 hours at a time "with or without reasonable accommodation," the ad said.
The first inklings that Amazon planned to create a new grocery chain separate from Whole Foods was reported in March. Six months later, reports claimed that Amazon had signed leases for more than 12 Los Angeles-area locations. All along, Amazon has been mum about plans, and this is the first time that it has confirmed reports about the new grocery chain.
A spokesperson confirmed that this new grocery store chain will be different from its Whole Foods stores. "The 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.
Amazon has not confirmed whether more stores would be opening beyond the Woodland Hills location, and analysts and competitors are trying to predict how the commerce giant will make the major move into the biggest category of retail spending, according to the Chicago Tribune. Exactly what that experience will be, Amazon isn't saying.
Amazon's existing logistics prowess coupled with the opportunity to build grocery stores from the ground up could give it a huge potential advantage as it vies for a bigger share of the trillion-dollar-plus grocery category. Store-level automation would also extend the company's fresh foods supply chain much closer to the end customer, facilitating faster grocery delivery.