Amazon Could Spend $3 Billion on 'Go' Stores, Analyst Says

21 September, 2018, 02:48 | Author: Sheri Evans
  • Amazon reportedly plans to open 3,000 cashier-less stores by 2021

If Amazon intends to get that total up to 3,000 by the end of 2021, it needs to be opening 20 new stores a week from the beginning of 2019 onwards.

Amazon.com is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless stores in the next few years, according to people familiar with matter, an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains like 7-Eleven, quick-service sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, and mom-and-pop pizzerias and taco trucks.

The company unveiled its first cashierless store near its headquarters in Seattle in 2016 and has since announced two additional sites in Seattle and one in Chicago. Since then, the company has opened two more Seattle sites and one in Chicago, and has confirmed plans for San Francisco and NY stores. Amazon is also planning to open one in NY.

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If Amazon follows through with the rumored plan, it would pose a threat to convenience store chains like 7-Eleven, which must bear the expense of paying cashiers and other staff, Bloomberg said.

The checkout counter-free store relies on computer vision, machine learning algorithms and sensors to track what customers are taking off the shelves - or putting back on the shelves - and purchasing. Two of the new stores offer only a limited selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks, showing that Amazon is experimenting with the concept simply as a meal-on-the-run option. Amazon has poured considerable resources into its grocery business in the past 15 months and bought the upmarket organic grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last summer.

By rolling out 3,000 Amazon Go stores, Amazon would quickly become one of the biggest chains in the US, Bloomberg said. Amazon shares were down about 1 percent. It would also give Amazon a much expanded footprint of physical stores in the USA, adding to its more than 350 Whole Foods stores. Shoppers use the Amazon Go mobile app to gain entry to the store through a turnstile.

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Amazon's flair for innovation and consumer acumen raise the potential for a major expansion of the Amazon Go format, according to Loop Capital analyst Andrew Wolf. With 3,000 stores to its name, Amazon would stand to take a sizable bite of that pie.

Amazon Go is going national. Customers pick up what they want and are scanned and charged automatically, without having to wait in line for a cashier to physically handle their purchase.

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