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Amazon's store expansion is beyond ideal for introverts

20 September 2018

That huge number of stores would make Amazon Go one of the largest retail chains in the country, and the third-largest chain of convenience stores by number of stores.

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is considering opening up to 3,000 locations of its cashier-less Amazon Go concept by 2021.

Having almost 3,000 locations would make Amazon Go the third-largest convenience store chain in the USA, just under 7-Eleven and the parent company of Circle K, according to CSP, an industry publication.

It would mark the latest example of Amazon's rapidly growing e-commerce, cloud computing and, now, advertising empires - as the firm's online advertising business gets closer to overshadowing the likes of Google and Facebook.

One major hurdle, however, would be the cost - Bloomberg's sources said the first Amazon Go store needed more than $1 million worth of hardware. It then opened two more in Seattle, and one Chicago. The small-format stores - the largest so far is 2,100 square feet - carry a mix of prepared and packaged food, soft drinks and make-at-home meal kits. In physical stores, Amazon is emphasising convenience over selection to win business.

Spencer Soper of Bloomberg first reported the news that will likely disrupt the industry of quick food stores like 7-Eleven, Subway, and Panera Bread.

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Walgreens, for example, has about 8,100 U.S. locations.

Shares of big grocers slipped in response to the report Wednesday.

Those companies had already been on notice for more than a year after Amazon bought its way into brick-and-mortar groceries with the $13.5 billion acquisition of more than 470 Whole Foods Market stores. That never happened and Amazon issued a rare denial of the rumor.

Shoppers use a smartphone app to enter the store. 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. "If you weren't in a high-traffic area, you were going to be at a great disadvantage".

"Amazon needs to figure out how to grow this", said Soper, "but limit the cost because the cost of this technology is extremely expensive right now and so by narrowing the focus on simply prepared food, they can keep the cost down and expand more quickly". Amazon Web Services, the company's fast-growing and profitable cloud-computing business, was unprofitable for years and Bezos stuck with it, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Amazon's store expansion is beyond ideal for introverts