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Amazon looking to open 2,000 stores with different shopping formats

by Brandon Russell | December 8, 2016December 8, 2016 4:00 am PDT

Amazon’s cashier-less grocery stores of the future could spread beyond the company’s hometown of Seattle. The online giant unveiled the concept on Monday, which would allow customers to walk into the small-format grocery stores and leave without ever dealing with lines or cashiers.

Apparently, Amazon wants to test this concept in other markets across the U.S., and in other potential formats, too. According to sources speaking with the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is also considering stores larger than the convenience-style Go concept revealed this week.

Amazon executives have allegedly green-lit “multifunction stores with curbside pickup availability,” along with locations that don’t offer any in-store shopping at all, and instead rely on the convenience of a drive-through. So, a person might order something online, drive to the drive-through, and be on their way.

Depending on how successful these stores are, Amazon has a goal of opening upwards of 2,000 brick-and-mortar locations across the U.S.

Considering how densely populated cities have become, the convenience store model sounds like the most likely concept to catch on with customers. Imagine walking into an Amazon Go location for a bite to eat and leaving without ever waiting in line (or dealing with a self-checkout machine).

Is this the future?

While the concept of convenience-style stores sounds great, imagine if Amazon can apply the same concept to stores with more products to offer. The so-called “multifunction stores” mentioned in WSJ’s story could be a huge hit.

I’d love to be able to walk into an Amazon store, pick up a video game, and leave. Again, without waiting in a long line or needing the help of a cashier. There’s a lot of potential here that Amazon clearly wants to take advantage of.

Whether these concepts will take off is another question entirely. It’s one thing for Amazon to dream of a cashier-less future. It’s another thing to deliver what’s being promised.

WSJ

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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