In a report from Bloomberg on Wednesday, it was revealed that Amazon may be planning on opening 3,000 of its cashier-less AmazonGo stores by the end of 2021. The sources, who wished to remain anonymous, told Bloomberg that the plan is to open 10 stores by the end of this year, 50 more the year after that, and finally 3,000 stores by the end of 2021.
AmazonGo stores are a relatively new convention, created by Amazon.com Inc., headed by Jeff Bezos. AmazonGo shoppers can enter an automated convenience store stocked with snacks, deli items, and lunch kits, scan their phone with a corresponding app, grab what they want, and walk right out. The high-tech hardware of the Go store includes sensors and technology that can sense the items being carried by shoppers and charges them accordingly.
The first AmazonGo store was opened in Seattle in 2016, and Jeff Bezos is said to be still experimenting with the model in order to profit off of busy lunchtime rushes. Two more models will go up in Seattle and another in Chicago later this year, but two of the new stores offer only a limited selection of snacks, salads, and lunch items. The other two stores have grocery selections available, making them much more comparable to a 7-11 convenience store, Bloomberg says.
@amazon has officially opened its #AmazonGo outlet in #Chicago. This is their 1st attempt at opening a cashier-less grocery store outside of #Seattle. As you can see, #Chicagoans are lining up in droves to check it out. Find the new #Loop location at 113 S Franklin St. #retail pic.twitter.com/NSvzo9vOqJ
— Foresight ROI (@ForesightROI) September 17, 2018
The Chicago AmazonGo store was just opened on September 17, reports the Chicago Tribune. It measures 2,000 square feet, and shoppers were taking their time getting acclimated to the new selection of items and prices. This is ironic, since the purpose of the service is supposed to allow shoppers a super-quick shopping experience without having to stop and check out. However, it seems the store is already popular in Chicago, as the Chicago Tribune said lines of customers were seen waiting down the street during lunchtime on its opening day.
“It felt a little weird, but I like the concept,” said Bill Termunde, a 32-year-old who had just bought a breakfast sandwich at the new shop.
“I don’t know if people would come more than once just for the payment process, but if the quality is good, it’s convenient,” said another resident.
The selections available in the new store are limited at this time, as there are no hot prepared food options, Chicago Tribune says. However, the shop does include microwaveable snacks and a microwave is provided on-site for use in warming foods.
Bloomberg also reports that upon the revelation that AmazonGo may open 3,000 stores in the next three years, popular rival stores experienced stock decreases immediately. Wal-mart Inc. shares went down about 0.6 percent; Target Inc. decreased by about 1.5 percent; and Kroger shares fell 3.1 percent.