Amazon may open as many as 3000 cashierless convenience stores

You have to scan the Amazon Go app on your phone to enter the store.                  Shara Tibken  CNET

Amazon is mulling a plan to open as many as 3,000 cashierless food stores over the next three years, according to a media report.

Amazon also recently opened the first Amazon Go store outside of Seattle in Chicago.

Amazon opened its first cashierless store in Seattle two years ago (pictured) and has launched two additional locations in Seattle and another in Chicago. United Kingdom -based Pret has 450 locations worldwide, including New York, Boston and Chicago, focusing on fresh, healthy grab-and-go foods.

Amazon could reduce the cost of hardware and increase profit margins by focusing on selling prepared foods, instead of offering an expanded selection of grocery items. Overhead cameras, weight sensors and deep learning technology detect merchandise that shoppers take from or return to shelves and keep track of the items selected in a virtual cart.

Shoppers use a smartphone app to enter the store. 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 did not immediately respond to a request for comment. That would include having about 10 Amazon Go stores by the end of 2018 and expanding to approximately 50 in key metropolitan markets next year, according to the report.

Speculation of a widespread rollout of Amazon Go isn't the first time the company has been rumored to have plotted a massive expansion into brick-and-mortar stores.

That many new stores could change people's expectations for convenience stores, forcing other retailers to adopt a cashier-less model. It would also give Amazon a much expanded footprint of physical stores in the United States, adding to its more than 350 Whole Foods stores. Should it be a convenience store with fresh food and groceries? The first is on Amazon's campus in Seattle. Shoppers rate location and a lack of lines as the most important factors when shopping for convenience, he said.

"Amazon is fully aware that they have to be much bigger in consumables and that omnichannel is what's going to work in consumables".

Driving Amazon Go's checkout-free shopping experience is Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology.

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