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Amazon Fresh Opens First DC-Area Store with High-Tech Carts, Alexa Kiosks

NBC Washington D.C. logo NBC Washington D.C. 5/27/2021 Justin Finch and Sophia Barnes
a car parked in front of a building: Amazon Fresh opened its first D.C.-area story on Thursday to a long line of customers. © Provided by NBC Washington D.C.

Amazon Fresh opened its first D.C.-area story on Thursday to a long line of customers.

The first Amazon Fresh store in the D.C. area opened its doors Thursday to a long line of customers, including some who arrived before sunrise to check out new technology that the retail giant says will make shopping quicker.

Customers gathered on Manchester Boulevard in Franconia, Virginia, early and the line stretched past several storefront windows an hour before opening.

“We actually came here at 4 a.m. so we could make a TikTok,” one customer said.

The store stocks 30,000 square feet with grocery items plus prepared foods including pizza and rotisserie chickens.

While the Amazon Fresh store sells what you’d expect from any grocery store, it employs new technology that could overhaul your typical shopping experience.

The Amazon Dash Cart lets customers skip the checkout line by tracking the items in their cart. First, you must sign in to the cart using the QR code in your Amazon app, then load in your bags. You'll scan items using the cart right before you load your shopping bags.

The Dash Cart's screen can display your shopping list or scan coupons. Users can walk out the door, and the cart will charge the card attached to the shopper's Amazon account.

If you use an Alexa device at home, you can tell the voice assistant to add items to your grocery list and it will automatically sort by aisle. Or, blue Alexa kiosks could help direct you to items in the store.

You can also order deli items ahead or schedule a grocery pickup through the Amazon act.

Several Amazon Fresh stores are planned for the D.C. area. Amazon says it’s hiring for another location in Chevy Chase with wages starting at $15.

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