This may be “the worst secret in the pencil”, but Amazon still plans to open a marketplace in the township on the site of a former K-Mart store on Street Road.
Details of when the store’s ribbon will be cut are not yet known to the township, but township solicitor Joseph Pisso said, “They are definitely coming out with a hammer.”
The agreement is between Township and Bensalam MZL, which will form the site for both the 1749 and 1837 Street Road market and the Ashley Furniture Store.
Before the vote, Councilor Joseph Knowles asked if township officials knew for sure if an Amazon store property was going to be used.
“The developer has been a bit tight for its reasons, but the worst secret in Pennsylvania is that the site is planned to be an Amazon grocery store and an Ashley furniture store,” Piso replied. “That, to the best of the township’s knowledge, remains the same today.”
Council President Joe Billy, who spoke with an attorney for Amazon representatives, said there were no changes to the plans.
“It will be an Amazon supermarket and furniture store,” he said.
Asked to comment on when the store might open or how many employees will work there, Amazon’s public relations spokeswoman Laura Hayes responded in an email: “Amazon has not commented on rumors or speculation.”
Bucks County, an online retailer already has several filling centers and warehouses, announced in 2019 that it will open its first brick and mortar grocery store in Woodland Hills, California. Amazon also owns Whole Foods, which was acquired in 2017.
Township manager Barry Looper said an Amazon new store is also coming to Warrington. The store will be located at the Creekview Shopping Center on Easton Road.
Luber could not tell when the store would open. It will lease the space where an ex-giant was located. The shopping center also has Target and Lowe’s stores ShopCore Properties Developer, he said.
Amazon operates different models for its current grocery stores. Amazon Fresh is a traditional supermarket with some advanced digital shopping offers, but its Amazon Grocery In Seattle and Redmond in Washington, DC, the checkout lines offer a high-tech experience. Shoppers are using the Amazon Go app instead.
According to the Amazon site, “Just Walk Out Technology will automatically detect products when they are picked up or return to the shelves and monitor them in the virtual cart”.
No one knows if such technology will come to the Bensalam store. There are more Amazon new stores than chain grocery stores in the chain. According to Amazon.com, the new stores are now open in California and Illinois.
These stores include popular brands and Amazon’s proprietary labels. They include “Ask Alexa” kiosks and digital shopping lists through the Amazon app and its Alexa system, a personal and smart home assistant device.
Shoppers are also welcome with the Amazon Dash cart, according to a website designed for “small to medium-sized grocery trips.”
Stores equipped with these smart carts allow shoppers to avoid check lines when using “a combination of computer vision algorithms and sensor integration to identify the items you put in the cart”. According to amazon.com.
A spokesman for Penzalam MZL declined to give any details about the lessee for the grocery store, which will be approximately 42,500 square feet, according to plans submitted to the Township Planning Authority for the project.
The Ashley furniture store will be about 56,000 square feet and will open in early September, a Pennsylvania MZL spokeswoman said.
Pennsylvania MZL is a New York-based company owned by Godz Properties. In 2018, the company acquired a portion of the Brookwood Shopping Center where the former K-Mart is located. The rest of the shopping center at the intersection of Street and Halmville Roads is owned by Gorman Commercial Properties.