Amazon considering opening 3,000 ‘cashierless’ stores

by Ben Pena September 21, 2018, 2:51
Amazon considering opening 3,000 ‘cashierless’ stores

The e-commerce giant may open as many as 3,000 such stores by 2021, according to the report.

The cashierless shops allow customers to load up on snacks and walk out without the hassle of standing in line as the store sends a bill later.While Seattle and Chicago are already living the dream, Amazon is now considering a plan to open upwards of 3,000 cashierless stores over the course of the next few years, according to AdAge.

Amazon opened the first Amazon Go, an 1,800-square-foot unit in Seattle, to employees in 2016 and to the public on January 22 of this year.

Opening more locations in the same city would also allow Amazon to cut down on costs since they could take advantage of a centralized food production facility.

Amazon Go grew from a single convenience-store site to four over the span of eight months.

Amazon has been quite cautious in its roll-out of Amazon Go stores that replace the cashier with a smartphone app.

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The 2,000-square-foot Chicago location, which gets daily deliveries, offers packaged salads, snacks and sandwiches, according to CS News. That would mark a dramatic expansion of Amazon's brick-and-mortar footprint, and could pose an immediate challenge to food sellers from convenience chains like 7-Eleven to large format grocers like Kroger.

The e-tail giant now has four Amazon Go stores: three in Seattle and one in Chicago, which opened on Monday.

Amazon Go is Amazon's cashierless store, which features what it calls "just walk out" technology and payment through its proprietary app. Narrowing the focus to prepared food-to-go would reduce the upfront cost of opening each store, because it would require fewer cameras and sensors.

News of the company's potential ambitions for Amazon Go sent shares of grocery and retail rivals lower. Amazon's other brick-and-mortar initiatives include about 20 bookstores around the United States and the natural grocery chain Whole Foods Market, acquired past year. The stores could also help Amazon become a bigger player in the pharmacy business because it agreed to buy PillPack, an online drugstore, in June.

Such an expansion could put Amazon back into an investment cycle.

"Go's technology and offering furthers Amazon's efforts to build deeper, more integrated relationships with consumers, with the goals being to increase data capture and understanding of consumer demand and intent and ultimately drive higher/more frequent purchase behavior", they wrote. "The key to success will be convenient locations".

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