As if Amazon’s announcement regarding the 20,000 delivery van purchase wasn’t sufficient enough, the company is now considering opening 3,000 cashier-less stores by 2021. Bloomberg held many conversations with people familiar with the matter, which they noted during a report on Wednesday. If the e-commerce giant expands its retail, it would most likely threaten many convenience stores and fast-food chains across the United States by selling items to customers very quickly.
Amazon currently has four AmazonGo locations – three are located in Seattle, which is home to Amazon headquarters, and a recently opened location in Chicago. AmazonGo allows customers to enter through the app and then, instead of dealing with a cashier, cameras and sensors keep track of what items are purchased. The customers’ accounts are automatically charged for whichever products they carry out.
Although an Amazon spokesperson said the company doesn’t “comment on rumors or speculation,” Bloomberg reported that the expansion may be more extensive, with nearly 50 stores potentially welcoming customers as early as next year, while hundreds more are rumored to open for business by 2021.
“AmazonGo already has no lines,” Lenard said. “The key to success will be convenient locations. If it’s a quarter mile from where people are walking and biking, the novelty of the technology won’t matter. It’s too far away.”
According to USA Today, the original Seattle location offers a collection of cold drinks, sweets and lunch foods that are easily accessed. Amazon’s collection also includes dinner meal kits, frozen foods and a small selection of wines and beers. Depending on which location you visit, customers can seek already prepared meals for any time of the day.
Shares of retailers, according to CNBC, such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Target and Kroger, decreased on Wednesday afternoon following the report.
Bezos said during a Washington D.C. event last week that the company was “very interested” in physical stores only if it holds something new to offer. “If we offer a me-too product, it’s not going to work,” he said.