Amazon considers opening 3,000 cashierless Go stores

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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.

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

Amazon now operates four such stores, three in Seattle and one in Chicago, and these are being used as trial-runs for a larger scale expansion of the business. Amazon has since opened that store to the public and added two more in Seattle. United Kingdom -based Pret has 450 locations worldwide, including New York, Boston and Chicago, focusing on fresh, healthy grab-and-go foods.

The company's rationale is simple: while it has developed into a massively successful enterprise, Jeff Bezos recognizes most money is still spent in brick-and-mortar stores and has devised a master to create 3,000 Amazon Go-type stores.

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The 2,000-square-foot Chicago location, which gets daily deliveries, offers packaged salads, snacks and sandwiches, according to CS News.

Amazon is targeting dense urban areas with lots of young, busy, affluent residents willing to spend a little more than a typical fast-food experience for better quality food, the people said.

Amazon Go is Amazon's cashierless store, which features what it calls "just walk out" technology and payment through its proprietary app.

Whatever Amazon ultimately plans in rolling out Amazon Go, retailers of all stripes are already keeping a close watch.

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The new chain would be a massive expansion of Amazon's retail efforts, which also include Whole Foods as well as bookstores and in-mall kiosks.

To recap, shoppers at Amazon Go simply scan their phones loaded with the necessary companion app when they enter, and then grab the items they want, and leave.

If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.

In December 2016, Amazon unveiled a convenience store in downtown Seattle that replaced cashiers with technology found in self-driving cars. "We shall see", Wolf said at the roundtable event. Narrowing the focus to prepared food-to-go would reduce the upfront cost of opening each store, because it would require fewer cameras and sensors. Shoppers rate location and a lack of lines as the most important factors when shopping for convenience, he said.

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