Amazon Said to Consider Opening Up to 3,000 Cashierless Stores by 2021

Gladys Abbott
September 20, 2018

According to a report, Amazon is considering opening 3,000 of its cashierless stores by 2021.

Amazon has become the world's largest online retailer by offering a vast selection and quick, convenient delivery. That would mark a dramatic expansion of Amazon's brick-and-mortar footprint, and could pose an immediate challenge to food sellers from convenience chains like 7-Eleven to large format grocers like Kroger. Once inside, an array of cameras and sensors track shoppers' progress through the store, charging a credit card on file for items the shoppers take off shelves.

The internet giant is considering plans to have about 10 locations open by the end of this year, about 50 locations in major metro areas in 2019, and then as many as 3,000 by 2021, said the people, who requested anonymity discussing internal plans.
The convenience store concept, which works with its own app, allows customers to shop without having to wait in checkout lines.

Amazon's first such store was positioned as a regular grocery store with limited inventory.

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The company's rationale is simple: while it has developed into a massively successful enterprise, Jeff Bezos recognizes most money is still spent in brick-and-mortar stores and has devised a master to create 3,000 Amazon Go-type stores. The shares rose about 1 percent to $1,942.82 at 10:41 a.m.in NY.

Shares of US supermarket chains Kroger Co (KR.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) fell between 1 and 2 percent following the news. After opening its first location in 2016, Amazon is now up to 16 locations.

Going from just four locations to 3,000 in a few years would constitute a massive jump and make Amazon a leading convenience store operator, rivaling 7-Eleven, Walgreens and CVS. Or more of a fresh-food focused experience where you drop in to grab lunch?

One person familiar with Amazon Go's development said in an interview with The Seattle Times that the number of stores the company is aiming for has been a subject of debate internally. United Kingdom -based Pret has 450 locations worldwide, including New York, Boston and Chicago, focusing on fresh, healthy grab-and-go foods.

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