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Amazon reportedly reverses course on Amazon Fresh in Twin Cities

Amazon Fresh storefront
Amazon Fresh will not open stores in the Twin Cities.

Amazon Fresh may not be making it to the Twin Cities, after all.

According to Axios Twin Cities, Amazon is putting six 40,000-sq.-ft. Amazon Fresh stores it built but never opened in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area up for sublease. The company never formally announced it would open the stores, but its name was on permits for at least one of the buildings.

Amazon has not publicly commented on this decision, but CEO Andy Jassy said in a February earnings call that the company would halt expansion of the Amazon Fresh format.

The high-tech Amazon Fresh format made its debut in 2020, in Woodland Hills, Calif. There are currently about 44 Amazon Fresh locations, with close to 20 in California.

Speaking on the company’s fourth-quarter earnings call, Amazon chief executive Andy Jassy said that to have a mass physical store offering, “you need a different offering. And that’s what we’ve been working on with Amazon Fresh.”

“We’re doing a fair bit of experimentation today in those stores to try to find a format that we think resonates with customers,” Jassy told analysts on the call. “It’s differentiated in some meaningful fashion and where we like the economics.”

Jassy said that Amazon is not going to expand Fresh doors until it has the right equation of differentiation and economic value. The grocer recently opened its first Montana store.

Read more Axios coverage here.

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