Large-Format Amazon Go Headed for Atlanta?

E-retailer eyeing 12,000-square-foot cashierless store, report says
Photograph: Shutterstock

ATLANTA -- Amazon is considering taking its Amazon Go frictionless-checkout stores to Atlanta in a 12,000-square-foot location, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, citing plans reviewed by the newspaper staff.

At 12,000 square feet, the store would be more than five times larger than the Amazon Go location in San Francisco, currently the largest location at 2,300 square feet.

There have been rumors of large-format Amazon Go stores before. In February 2017, before the first Seattle location opened to the public, the New York Post reported that Amazon was mulling plans to open large-format grocery stores with “just walk out” shopping tech. The Post reported the large-format stores could be two stories, take up anywhere from 10,000 and 40,000 square feet, and could be managed by anywhere from three to 10 human workers alongside robots.

Bezos quickly took to Twitter to vociferously deny the report. “Whoever your anonymous sources are on this story, they’ve mixed up their meds!” he wrote online at the time. Similarly, when CSP Daily News asked about the New York Post rumor, an Amazon spokesperson responded, “As we’ve said previously, it’s incorrect. We have no plans to build such a store.”

The response to the rumors of a large-format Atlanta location is more measured. “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” an Amazon spokesperson said in response to an inquiry on the potential Atlanta location from CSP Daily News.

Bloomberg has reported that Amazon is mulling opening 3,000 Amazon Go locations across the country, although an Amazon spokesperson also declined to confirm or deny the report at the time, and the company has given no indication about its plans for Amazon Go’s growth since then.

Whether Amazon opens a large-format Amazon Go unit or 3,000 locations, the concept has already transformed retail. Retailers and suppliers of all sizes and categories, from Kroger to the Pinnacle Corp., have released frictionless shopping solutions since the first Amazon Go opened to the public in Seattle. Do not expect the frictionless arms race to stop anytime soon.

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