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An Amazon Fresh store in California. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Amazon is planning a big entry into the Twin Cities grocery market beyond just the Burnsville store we told you about on Tuesday.

What's happening: Amazon also wants to bring checkout-free Fresh stores to Eagan Town Centre and a former JCPenney store in Coon Rapids' Riverdale Village, Nick confirmed with his sources.

  • It's also working on several more suburban sites.

The state of play: Twin Cities-based food consultant Rick Shea said the Twin Cities will be a good test market for Amazon, which has already opened several Fresh stores in California and is beginning to open them in Chicago.

  • "The market is still dominated by Target and Cub Foods. … It has a lot of competition. It gives Amazon a good read on how their concepts will do as they expand and roll out,” he added.

Of note: Amazon already owns Whole Foods.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

The mad dash for COVID vaccines among Minnesota seniors

Data: Minnesota Department of Health; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Minnesota's system for scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for citizens 65 and older again saw extraordinary demand this week.

By the numbers: More than 226,000 seniors entered the lottery for one of just 9,425 doses available at state pilot sites this week, MDH told Axios.

The Twin Cities' favorite sledding spots

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you're anything like us, you're in the market for new sledding spots to get your thrills in this winter.

We asked readers to share your favorite hills across the metro. Here are some of your recommendations (in no particular order):

  1. Como Park in St. Paul
  2. Aquila Park in St. Louis Park
  3. Newton Hill (51st and Newton) in southwest Minneapolis
  4. The hill at Wayzata East Middle School
  5. The hill at 32nd & Louisiana in Crystal

Downtown Minneapolis remains in pandemic-induced hibernation

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Most of the 218,000 people who worked in downtown Minneapolis before the pandemic still have jobs — they're just working remotely.

Why it matters: Restaurants, retailers and hotels have been hit hardest by the lack of office workers, and years' worth of momentum for downtown has halted.