Amazon is opening a new Whole Foods store in Brooklyn, but it won't be open to the public.
In a first for the company, the Whole Foods store will be permanently online only, charged with fulfilling online grocery orders for customers in the Brooklyn area, Amazon announced Tuesday. The store, which opens on Tuesday, is located in Brooklyn's Industry City complex, based in the borough's Sunset Park neighborhood.
"Grocery delivery continues to be one of the fastest-growing businesses at Amazon," the company said in a blog post announcing the store. "We're thrilled to increase access to grocery delivery. It's never been more important."
Amazon said it hired hundreds of new employees who will be "100 percent dedicated to facilitating grocery delivery" at the store.
The launch of the new, online-only store format comes as Amazon, like many other retailers, has experienced a flood of demand for grocery delivery, driven by the coronavirus pandemic. In the last quarter, Amazon said online grocery sales tripled year-over-year in the second quarter and it increased grocery delivery capacity by more than 160%.
Amazon has also continued to broaden its reach into the U.S. grocery industry. Earlier this month, Amazon opened the first location of its new chain of Fresh grocery stores. The first store, located in Los Angeles' Woodland Hills neighborhood, temporarily served as an online-only "dark store" to fulfill grocery orders.
The company also oversees more than 500 Whole Foods stores, 10 Amazon Go stores and a larger format of its Go convenience stores, called Go Grocery.