Amazon is reportedly gearing up to open more cashless brick-and-mortar convenience stores dubbed Amazon Go.
Recode, citing multiple people familiar with Amazon’s plans, reported news that the eCommerce giant is planning to open as many as six new Amazon Go locations in 2018. Some are expected to be in Seattle — Amazon’s hometown and the location of its first Amazon Go. New stores are also expected in Los Angeles, where, Recode reported, Amazon was in talks with Rick Caruso, the billionaire real estate developer, about having an Amazon Go located at The Grove, a 600,000-square-foot outdoor shopping mall. As for its hometown of Seattle, the report noted the company has pinpointed three potential location for more stores, which were identified last year.
If Amazon opens a brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles, it will reflect the company’s strategy of using the city as a testbed for new products and services. After all, Los Angeles was the first city to get AmazonFresh, the grocery delivery service. Amazon also announced recently it will create a new shipping service located in LA.
Amazon’s first foray into the convenience store market was on Jan. 22 at its headquarters in Seattle, Washington. The store, which was in development for five years, is located on the ground floor of the eCommerce giant’s new headquarters and is filled with technologies not typically found in a U.S. convenience store.
Upon entering the Amazon Go store, customers can choose from pre-made salads, sandwiches, snacks and meals, as wells as beer, wine and other beverages. Shelves are also stocked with produce, meat and Amazon meal kits. To attract new brick-and-mortar customers, Amazon is including such high-tech conveniences as speedy checkout, which eliminates the need to wait in line to pay for groceries.
While Amazon Go won’t need cashiers, there will be employees who perform such tasks as checking IDs for alcohol purchases and preparing food in the store’s kitchen. In order to shop in the store, customers must first download the Amazon Go app on their mobile device and scan the app upon entering. Customers can then begin to shop, but they don’t have to check out when exiting. Instead, the store will use cameras and sensors on shelves, as well as a computer vision system, to scan the items being purchased and automatically charge them to the shopper’s Amazon account.