Amazon considering an expansion of brick and mortar offering with up to 3,000 cashierless stores!
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Amazon considering an expansion of brick and mortar offering with up to 3,000 cashierless stores!

At the end of last week, ecommerce titan Amazon made a shocking announcement: it’s considering a huge push into the world of brick-and-mortar retail. It’s not surprising that the company is thinking about opening some more shops, because – although people don’t tend to associate Amazon with the high street – the company already has a nascent brick-and-mortar empire, consisting of the Whole Foods brand and a handful of cashierless stores it refers to as “AmazonGo”. It is the latter that Amazon’s considering more of, and the timeline is incredible: potentially as many as 3,000 across the U.S. in the next few years!

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 65% year to date

graph 2409 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Were Amazon to make good on this ambitious plan, and make a success of it, the company would have created a major force in offline retail. For comparison sake, Amazon already has around 600 brick-and-mortar locations (including Whole Foods), so another 3,000 would put it pretty close to America’s largest grocer, Kroger, which has 3,900 stores.

But what is AmazonGo? It’s the brand Amazon created to showcase its suitably high-tech cashier-free technology. You just pick up what you want and go – you can pay through your Amazon account, as sensors in-store will realise what you’ve taken and bill you accordingly. There are two of these futuristic shops already, but the next 3,000 won’t stock exactly the same things, according to an anonymous source.

The source says that CEO Jeff Bezos thinks the way to reinvent brick-and-mortar retail is by “eliminating meal-time logjams in busy cities.” But he’s not sure whether that should be accomplished through convenience stores that sell fresh prepared foods and a limited grocery selection (think 7-Eleven) or simply a place to pick up a bite to eat as you rush by (think Pret a Manger).

An Amazon spokesperson has declined a request for comment – so nothing can be guaranteed. However, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if offline retail’s salvation came at the hands of the same company that most people thought would be responsible for its demise.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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