Amazon Could Expand Amazon Go And Drive-Through Grocery Store Formats With 2,000 Locations

What if we lived in a world where we never needed to wait in line in order to buy some milk or toilet paper? Amazon is working on making that dream a reality. The corporation has just opened a brick-and-mortar grocery store dubbed “Amazon Go” in Seattle, Washington and plans on opening 2,000 more locations of varying types.

Amazon stated, “Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout? Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go.”

shopper

Groceries have been difficult to sell online and account for only two percent of all grocery sales. If its first store is successful, Amazon plans on opening around 2,000 locations. The company is considering other formats, such as allowing drivers to pick up goods curbside.

Amazon Go appears to be targeting “fill-in” trips or quick trips where customers only need a few essential items, and thus could be competition for drugstores like CVS or Walgreens. The Amazon Go aesthetic is similar to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and therefore appears to be catering to yuppies and millennials.

in house chefs

The store offers grocery basics like bread, as well as ready-to-eat meals made fresh by on-site chefs and local kitchens and bakeries. Prepared meals will present competition to typical fast food and carry-out restaurants, especially places like Chipotle. Amazon's pre-packaged meal kits could threaten companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh.

This new format eliminates much of the staff that is needed to operate a store and therefore keeps costs down. Amazon Go, however, could potentially be a threat to the retail industry. More than 3.4 million Americans work as cashiers and Amazon Go has come at a time when several states voted to raise the minimum wage.

The rollout of Amazon Go will be a slow process overall and Amazon will need to build an extensive store network in order to gain traction. The first Amazon Go store is currently only available to Amazon employees, and will open for regular customers in early 2017.

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