Amazon wants 3000 Amazon Go stores by 2021

AmazonGo cashierless store in Seattle

Amazon is set to get into the convenience store business by setting up as many as 3,000 cashierless Amazon Go stores by 2021, reports Bloomberg. Whole Foods, for instance, started selling Amazon Echo smart speakers nearly immediately after the $13.4 billion acquisition of the grocery chain closed in August 2017. The company is now considering narrowing its focus even further to freshly prepared foods that would appeal to lunch-time crowds - something that one of Bloomberg's sources likened to the United Kingdom chain Pret a Manger.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

The world's largest online retailer, which calls the stores AmazonGo, has been operating such an outlet in Seattle since the end of December 2016, when the facility opened to Amazon employees, according to Bloomberg.

Correction: Sept. 19, 4:32 p.m. PT: Fixes the number of Amazon Go stores in operation and when they first opened. Its key feature is a complete lack of lines to wait in.

The challenge to Amazon's plan is the high cost of opening each location. Focusing on prepared foods rather than groceries could help boost profit margins, and some of the existing stores are already doing that. Amazon shares were down about 1 percent. In physical stores, Amazon is emphasising convenience over selection to win business.

The idea is to open up stores in dense urban areas with large populations of young, well-to-do folks who are happy to pay a premium for high-quality meals on the go. "If we offer a me-too product, it's not going to work", he said.


If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.

The move comes as another corner of Amazon's vast empire is set to expand.

The report of new Amazon Go stores follows the opening of two new Amazon Go locations, in Seattle and Chicago, earlier this month. For reference, there are about 155,000 convenience stores across the country, and about 80 percent of those are combined with gas stations.

Additionally, retail experts say it would take a lot of money and time to site, develop and staff thousands of new locations, making it unlikely Amazon could create that many stores from scratch in just a few years. Amazon is also planning to open one in NY.

What's more, Amazon has grown its advertising business 242 percent since 2017, eMarketer said.

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