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A "zombie" Amazon Fresh store in Lodi, N.J. last week. Photo by Theo Wayt.

‘Zombie’ Amazon Grocery Stores Pile Up as Openings Grind to a Halt

Photo: A "zombie" Amazon Fresh store in Lodi, N.J. last week. Photo by Theo Wayt.

For the most part, these Amazon Fresh stores look like they’re ready to open: The lights are on; there are signs for meat, seafood, bread and 15-cent bananas. But the shelves are empty, the doors are locked and no employees are around.

Amazon’s pivot from rapid expansion to cost-cutting has left “zombie” grocery stores like these across the country, including in the Northeast, California and Illinois, according to local officials, visits by The Information to four would-be Amazon Fresh stores and local news reports. The pileup of zombie stores raises questions about the future of the company’s grocery business as CEO Andy Jassy looks to rein in spending.

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