Thursday, April 20, 2023

Rockville Amazon Fresh store canceled on Shady Grove Road (Photos)

The long-anticipated Amazon Fresh store at the 270 Center on Shady Grove Road will not come to fruition. All signage has been removed from the building in stages, over the last 48 hours. This is a reversal of not only Amazon's strategy of using bricks-and-mortar stores to expand its warehousing capacity for same-day deliveries, but also of CEO Andy Jassy's recent bullish remarks that the e-commerce giant would "go big" on physical grocery stores in 2023.

Canceling the Shady Grove Road store, which is on the border between Rockville and Gaithersburg, represents a major financial loss for the company. The store was fully built-out inside as of late summer 2022, and it has sat empty with bare shelves since. That has been the case with several other Amazon Fresh stores that were on the verge of opening around the country.

Now the question would be, will Amazon use its lease of the former office supply store for another grocery or retail concept, or will it break its lease at 270 Center at further cost? Jassy said the firm had settled on a format they want to "go big" with, but he did not say if "Amazon Fresh" was that format. Montgomery County has two existing Amazon Fresh concept stores, at the Collection at Chevy Chase and Chevy Chase Lake.

Damaged Amazon Fresh sign as it
appeared April 13, 2023

The cancellation of this store is the latest retrenchment move by Amazon. It recently laid off a substantial number of employees, and has "paused" construction of several projects at its HQ2 property in Arlington, Virginia, including the centerpiece Helix building that was scheduled for a 2025 delivery. 

Bulbs exposed behind damaged area
April 13, 2023

Just a week ago, the main sign that has been lit on the front of the store was damaged. Green shards of the lower part of the logo lay on the sidewalk below the sign. The bulbs that had been hidden behind them glowed in the night, as empty shelves and navigational aisle signage remained visible inside the store. It was unclear if the sign had been vandalized, or if the damage was sustained during the recent high wind event.

Sign debris on sidewalk below on April 13

Bare shelves inside store

Signage for navigating aisles and
merchandise visible inside store


  1. Can't believe how much Amazon is pulling back on expansion. They're acting like they don't have $60B in cash sitting around. As a shareholder, I definitely don't agree with the strategy. They should be using their cash pile to take advantage of the macro economic situation, not meekly shriveling up.

  2. WOW! I have been looking forward to this store opening. What a difference disappointment and a waste of money

  3. Look around you, things are changing fast.

  4. I think "a major financial loss" underestimates what major means for a company as big as Amazon. A lot of wasted money, sure, but it will hardly be specific footnote on the Quarterly Earnings report

  5. Amazon is selling more and more Chinese garbage and people are getting sick of it.

  6. Totally agree with the above comment about the "Chinese garbage". I barely use Amazon anymore because too many of their products are cheap knock-offs or just straight counterfeit goods. Waste of money.

  7. If I'm not mistaken wasn't this store located where the old Office Depot was?

  8. This has more to blame on Montgomery County - it takes an extremely long time for permits, approvals, and sign offs to happen here. This is a major reason why businesses choose Virginia.

  9. Uh, the store was fully built out - they already had their approvals. They are pulling back on brick and mortar.