Amazon to launch 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021


An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

The world's largest online retailer, which calls the stores AmazonGo, has been operating such an outlet in Seattle since the end of December 2016, when the facility opened to Amazon employees, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon Go is basically a dream come true for introverts.

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.

What's more, Amazon has grown its advertising business 242 percent since 2017, eMarketer said. 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.

News of the company's potential ambitions for Amazon Go sent shares of grocery and retail rivals lower.

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Shares of US supermarket chains Kroger Co (KR.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) fell between 1 and 2 percent following the news. If Amazon's plans pan out, it could eventually become one of the largest chains in the US. Should it be a convenience store with fresh food and groceries?

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.

Speculation of a widespread rollout of Amazon Go isn't the first time the company has been rumored to have plotted a massive expansion into brick-and-mortar stores.

At a Washington DC event last week, Bezos said Amazon was "very interested" in physical stores, but only if it has something new to offer.

"We have no plans to open 2,000 of anything", a spokesperson said a few days after the newspaper's story published. Amazon also routinely loses money expanding internationally. Amazon has since opened that store to the public and added two more in Seattle.

"We see Amazon as having to invest between $0.5 billion and $3 billion in building these 3,000 stores", analysts led by Brian Nowak wrote Thursday. For reference, there are about 155,000 convenience stores across the country, and about 80 percent of those are combined with gas stations. The target locations make it less of a threat to suburban gas station-convenience store combinations and more of a threat to big cities' quick-service eateries, such as Subway Restaurants, Panera Bread Co. and Pret a Manger.