Amazon Go, the “just walk out” convenience store that opened almost two years ago, expanded to a second Seattle location this week. Vice President of Amazon Go Gianna Puerini told the Seattle Times that she anticipates the new location having a different demographic from the first, attracting a larger percentage of office workers. The new Amazon Go will be slightly smaller than the first, and due to its smaller size, will have fresh food shipped in from an Amazon kitchen facility nearby.
Amazon Go doesn’t end in Seattle — the project will soon expand to Chicago and San Francisco. The Seattle Times noted job postings on Amazon’s website seeking managers in both cities back in May, and Amazon confirmed the plans but didn’t specify a timeline. This is right in line with Recode’s February 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. So far, so good.
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, and buying a sandwich instantly, without swiping a card or waiting in line, is certainly convenient. Finally, Amazon has the ability to leverage Amazon Go for consumer data, ultimately helping the retail giant bolster its e-commerce dominance.
With the addition of another cashierless store, Amazon is reaffirming their focus on in-person shopping. From Amazon-branded endeavors 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 its reach in the brick-and-mortar space.