Amazon Fresh opening attracts crowd in Cerritos

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Vincent Medina

Hundreds of people waited in line to get the grand-opening day savings at Amazon Fresh in Cerritos. The ninth amazon grocery store in California opened on Nov. 18, 2021.

Vincent Medina, Managing Editor

Amazon Fresh grocery store opened in Cerritos today, drawing hundreds of residents who were eager to save money on grand-opening deals ahead of the Thanksgiving holidays.

Rudy Lozano was determined to be the first person in line, going as far as to wait overnight and brave the 52-degree weather.

“I have been out here since 6 p.m. last night,” said Lozano. “I’m not working right now, and I’m helping my Mom and Dad out with Thanksgiving.”

As the first person to enter the store, he received a $250 gift card from Amazon and a special shout-out from the store manager Sandra Chavez.

“I want to thank our associates and team members, and especially our customers,” said Chavez as she cut the grand ribbon. “We are so excited to join your community.”

Amazon Fresh tries to provide convenience to their customers by allowing them to skip the checkout line with their feature “just walk out.”

“[Just walk out] gives customers the option to skip the checkout line by scanning their Amazon app on their phone,” said Jondolon Bush, Amazon Fresh district manager for California.

When customers are done shopping, they scan their Amazon app or credit card at the exit gate.

Lozano was familiar with the unique aspect of the grocery stores.

“I’ve gone to the Amazon Fresh in La Habra. The items are scanned as you put them in the basket, and if you change your mind it’s un-scanned,” said Lozano.

Store associates went through the line before the store opened to assist customers who were unfamiliar with the new procedures.

Amazon Fresh also provides a traditional checkout option, where customers can wait in line for a checkout person to scan their items.

Jessica Ojeda was the second customer in the store and was waiting in line with Lozano since 8 p.m.

“With COVID-19 and prices are so high, I needed some help with groceries so I wanted to get a gift card,” said Ojeda.

Along with their reusable tote bag, customers received a gift card ranging from $5 – $100.

“I’m having Thanksgiving with my siblings and extended family,” said Ojeda. “I have Amazon Prime, but I’ve never gone to their stores. Rudy was telling me how they work and it sounds awesome.”

Lozano completed some of his shopping in the morning, and plans to return later today to purchase the rest of the items on his grocery list.

Concerns were raised that the “Just walk out” feature would take jobs away from young workers, but the district manager says Amazon Fresh found a way to resolve the issue.

“We want to have more associates in our customer-facing roles, like our service departments. We also have some employees who pick online orders,” said Bush. “This store employees hundreds of associates.”

Amazon Fresh also prepares some food in their bakery and has an outdoor patio for customers to enjoy the food from the cafe.

Bush mentioned that the store was still hiring employees and that people who are interested can apply online for a full or part-time position.

The Amazon Fresh in Cerritos is located at 11340 South st.