Archive

Report: Amazon considering opening 3,000 cashierless Go stores | TribLIVE.com
Business Briefs

Report: Amazon considering opening 3,000 cashierless Go stores

251243vndamazongo092018
Pedestrians walk in front of the new Amazon Go store on the 100 block of South Franklin Street on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 in Chicago, Ill. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

SEATTLE — Amazon Go grew from a single convenience store to four over eight months. A report Wednesday suggests that the retail giant is considering a much faster pace of expansion.

Bloomberg reported that the Seattle company is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go convenience stores by 2021. That would be an immediate challenge to established chains like 7-Eleven.

The story, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, said the company was considering different models as it looked to expand Go, weighing whether to include a limited selection of groceries or focus on prepared food pickup.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

The first Go store opened to the public at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in January. Since then, the company has opened two more Seattle sites and one in Chicago, and has confirmed plans for San Francisco and New York stores. The small-format stores — the largest is 2,100 square feet — carry a mix of prepared and packaged food, soft drinks and make-at-home meal kits.

A 3,000-store footprint would catapult Amazon into the ranks of America’s major physical retail chains.

7-Eleven operates about 8,000 stores, according to the National Retail Foundation’s 2017 tally. Amazon rival Walmart operates 5,300, and Kroger, the largest U.S. grocer, runs 3,900 stores.

Amazon bought its way into brick-and-mortar groceries with the $13.5 billion acquisition of the more than 470 Whole Foods Market locations last year. It also operates or plans to open 18 bookstores and a range of smaller pop-up stores in malls and Kohl’s locations.

Amazon, like many secretive technology companies, rarely telegraphs its growth plans. But it has pushed back on past reports that executives had decided on a major expansion of Go.

When The Wall Street Journal reported a year ago that Amazon envisioned opening 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores with different formats, the company took the rare step of denying the report, instead of issuing its usual one-line statement declining to comment on reports of unannounced plans.

“We have no plans to open 2,000 of anything,” a spokesperson said a few days after the newspaper’s story published. “Not even close.”

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.