Documents show that Amazon was planning this year to open dozens of cashless Go stores - what's the drawback?

Since the opening of the first Amazon Go cashless supermarket in Seattle almost three years ago, Amazon has continued to open new Go stores in a few additional cities. But if you are wondering why such stores are not in your area, it is possible that Amazon is not following its original plan to distribute them throughout the country.

According to documents from 2018 viewed through The information, Amazon planned to open 56 Go stores by the end of this year and 156 by the end of 2020, but so far it has only announced 18. Only 14 of them are open to the public and are located only in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Seattle. Since the documents reviewed by The information Allegedly from last April, it is really hard to say why Amazon might not stick to its original plan, but we can speculate for a few possible reasons.

One idea: it may be difficult for Amazon to find good store locations. According to the documents, Amazon's cashless stores need high ceilings so that the company can mount the cameras & sensors they use to detect which items a customer is buying. They must also be near Amazon depots that transport fresh food, and they must have proper foot traffic so that customers are likely to come by.

Another idea: Amazon may have reconsidered its bet on smaller stores when exploring larger ones. In March – the same month that Amazon suddenly stopped all 87 of its US pop-up kiosks – we also heard that the company was planning to open a new supermarket chain that would not be affiliated with Amazon Go or Whole Foods (which owns it) , which suggests that Amazon may believe that a more traditional grocery model with a different Amazon brand (or no Amazon brand at all) has more potential than its other grocery companies.


According to the documents, it was already exploring a larger concept supermarket in 2018. Maybe it decided to push it harder.

And although Amazon hyped the Go stores as an easy, almost friction-free payment experience and has been testing it for a few years, Amazon apparently still finds the right formula for how we will buy those groceries. The company said in April that it plans to accept cash at Go stores, which could delay the store experience but also allow more people to shop. Only this past week, the New York Post reported that the company is considering biometric payments through scan the hands of customers to pay for purchases at Whole Foods.

Amazon has also expanded its Whole Foods grocery delivery service in the months since the Amazon Go rollout plan was originally drawn up – another low-friction way to sell groceries without needing small stores.

Amazon is also under constant pressure from activists who criticize its business practices, so the company could use a more cautious approach to roll out the Go stores. When Amazon originally introduced the camera-heavy concept without a cashier that you keep an eye on while you shop, it was not that difficult to use face recognition technology. Or the tip policy (since improved), working conditions (staying informed), or the enormous local impact on his alleged search for a new head office (now half canceled).

Regardless of the reason for the slow rollout, it seems that something has changed with Amazon & # 39; s Go strategy since the projections made in the documents reviewed by The information. and it seems less likely that by 2021 we will see 3000 of them, as we had believed a year ago. If you do not live near a Go store now, you may have to wait before you can shop there yourself.