Amazon considering opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021: Bbg

Amazon considering opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021: Bbg

Amazon considering opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021: Bbg

Bloomberg also reported Thursday that the cost of the large-scale Amazon Go expansion could run as much as $3 billion, based on estimates by Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak.

Amazon is considering a massive expansion of its Amazon Go retail store initiative, according to a new Bloomberg report.

Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in its hometown of Seattle in 2016.

Adding 3,000 convenience stores would make Amazon Go among the biggest chains in U.S. 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. Amazon also operates or plans to open 18 bookstores, as well as a range of smaller pop-up stores in malls and Kohl's locations.

Amazon Go is seen as a competitor to the already well-established chains of 7-Eleven convenience stores and Subway fast-food restaurants. Amazon has poured considerable resources into its grocery business in the past 15 months and bought the upmarket organic grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last summer.

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Why it matters: While Amazon has ruled the e-tailer business for the past few years, physical stores represent a considerable investment which Jeff Bezos is willing to undertake for longer-term profitability. It now has three in the city and one in Chicago.

Amazon Go is the most distinctive of all of its physical stores. Amazon has committed to opening stores in NY and San Francisco.

The person familiar with Go's development during its early stages said the sensor technology and other hardware installed in the first store in Seattle cost between $2 million and $3 million, and that the company was hoping to reduce costs for future stores. "If we offer a me-too product, it's not going to work", he said. Prepared foods also have wider profit margins than groceries, which would help decrease the time it takes for the stores to become profitable.

The Amazon Go store, which has no cashiers and allows shoppers to buy things with the help of a smartphone app, is widely seen as a concept that can alter brick-and-mortar retail.

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