After becoming only the second company in the world to reach the trillion dollar mark, Amazon Inc. has no plans on stopping. The company is planning a massive expansion of its cashierless AmazonGo stores. The e-tailer giants are aiming to open as many as 3000 cashierless stores by the year 2021.
The decision would probably be the most aggressive decision the company has made in the brick-and-mortar space since acquiring Whole Foods in 2016. The success of this would pose as a huge threat to convenience stores like 7-eleven and big retailers like Walmart. After Amazon announced its plans on Wednesday, shares of Walmart and Target fell sharply.
Currently, Amazon has 4 cashierless stores in the US. 3 of them are in Seattle where the company has its headquarters while the fourth one is in Chicago. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is still working on the perfect format of the stores. Out of the 4 stores, 2 of them sell only prepared food while the other 2 also offer some grocery items. The company is going to experiment with different models to give tough competition to even fast-food chains and casual dining establishments.
The automated AmazonGo stores promise “no lines, no checkouts, and no registers.” Customers download an app and link their Amazon account with it. They walk-in and pick-up whatever they want. Sensors and software is trained to analyze what a customer picked up from the shelf and update the cart in real time. After shopping, they simply walk out and billed automatically. It’s as simple as that.
According to the report, the company hopes to open about six more AmazonGo stores by the end of the year, have 50 stores in major cities in 2019, and as many as 3,000 by 2021. The company is looking to target mostly millennials living in densely populated areas. This is because they are mostly working class individuals who want to save as much time as they can.
The only issue with the plans is the cost that is associated with the expansion. Almost $1 million was spent when the first AmazonGo store was opened in Seattle. This cost was only for the hardware and technology alone. However, we can only wait to find out how everything turns out and hope something similar opens in India soon.
By Abhishek Aggarwal