SEATTLE -- Amazon plans to open up to 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless convenience-stores by 2021, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Bloomberg’s sources claim the e-retailer plans to open 10 locations by the end of 2018, about 50 locations in major metro areas in 2019 and then as many as 3,000 by 2021.
Further, Bloomberg said Amazon continues to experiment with the store format, going between a setup akin to a c-store where customers can buy groceries, and a simpler grab-and-go stop for people looking for a quick bite to eat, according to one of the sources. Sources also told Bloomberg that Amazon is targeting dense urban areas with plenty of young, busy, affluent residents.
"Amazon Go already has no lines," Jeff Lenard, vice president of NACS, told the news agency. "The key to success will be convenient locations. If it’s a quarter-mile from where people are walking and biking, the novelty of the technology won’t matter. It’s too far away."
"We don't comment on rumors or speculation," an Amazon spokesperson said in response to a request from CSP Daily News.
According to Bloomberg, the first Amazon Go in Seattle cost more than $1 million in hardware alone; narrowing Amazon Go’s focus to preprepared grab-and-go foods would reduce the cost to open each location, the report said.
Amazon Go is a store without cashiers or checkout counters. The first location opened in January 2018 and three additional locations have opened—two in Seattle and one in Chicago—in the past month. Customers need only download the Amazon Go app and sign in with their Amazon account for a QR code that allows them to enter the store. An Amazon Prime account is not required. Customers can then simply grab an item from the shelves and leave without standing in line or marking their purchase in any way. Amazon calls it “just walk out” technology. The futuristic shopping expereince is achieved through the use of cameras in the ceiling and sensors on the shelves that track both customer and item movement.
Stay tuned to CSP Daily News for more on this and other Amazon Go developments.
Photograph by Greg Lindenberg