It used to be that beta* versions apply only to software, but for Amazon, it applies to their physical stores as well. The ‘beta’ version of the store is for Amazon employees only, and then when everything is working smoothly, it is opened to the public.
I found another type of Amazon beta store in Seattle’s SoDo (south of downtown) industrial district. It’s an Amazon Fresh Pickup store. (Amazon Fresh Delivery has been around in select cities since 2007). The shopper selects and pays for grocery items on Amazon.com (Amazon Prime membership is required), reserve a time for picking it up (as little as 15 minutes later), and then go pick it up. I guess it saves time and effort as far as the selection and check-out goes, and if you were going to drive to the regular grocery store anyway, the Amazon Fresh Pickup could definitely save some time. If the Amazon.com selection is large enough to combine trips to two or three grocery stores, that would be even better. (For those picky, picky, picky shoppers that need that specific product brand or specialty items. Yes, you know who you are!).
*’Beta’ is a pre-release version of software that is given out to a group of users to try out under real conditions.