Amazon Go, the “just walk out” convenience store that opened during late 2016 in Seattle, will be expanding to Chicago and San Francisco. The Seattle Times noted job postings on Amazon’s website seeking managers in both cities, and Amazon confirmed the plans, but didn’t specify a timeline. This is right in line with Recode’s claim that Amazon plans to open as many as six Amazon Go stores in 2018, speculating that locations may include Los Angeles and up to three additional Seattle stores.
Amazon Go is a multifaceted endeavor for Amazon. First, the concept and technology are intriguing — the announcement of Amazon Go made a splash in the news and put pressure on other retailers and technology companies to develop similar systems. Next, convenience and friction-reduction are at the cornerstone of Amazon’s business model: buying a sandwich in-person at a cashierless corner store without waiting in line is the epitome of convenient. Finally, Amazon Go is a data machine.
Amazon continues to place an increased focus on in-person shopping. From internal experiments such as Amazon Go and Amazon Books to the acquisition of Whole Foods to partnering with retailers like Sears, Best Buy, and Kohl’s, the e-commerce leader is continuing to broaden their reach in the brick and mortar space.