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Amazon to open 3,000 brick-and-mortar stores by 2021

Amazon to open 3,000 brick-and-mortar stores by 2021

Amazon is mulling a plan to open as many as 3,000 cashierless food stores over the next three years, according to a media report.

Amazon opened its first Go branch, underneath its Seattle headquarters, at the start of this year. The initial store's hardware alone cost more than $1 million, according to AdAge.According to AdAge, an anonymous source revealed Amazon is considering a plan to open about 10 Amazon Go locations by the end of the year. Once inside, an array of cameras and sensors track shoppers' progress through the store, charging a credit card on file for items the shoppers take off shelves.

The 2,000-square-foot Chicago location, which gets daily deliveries, offers packaged salads, snacks and sandwiches, according to CS News.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Going from just four locations to 3,000 in a few years would constitute a massive jump and make Amazon a leading convenience store operator, rivaling 7-Eleven, Walgreens and CVS.

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One person familiar with Amazon Go's development said in an interview with The Seattle Times that the number of stores the company is aiming for has been a subject of debate internally.

Amazon Go is basically a dream come true for introverts.

Whatever Amazon ultimately plans in rolling out Amazon Go, retailers of all stripes are already keeping a close watch. It would also give Amazon a much expanded footprint of physical stores in the United States, adding to its more than 350 Whole Foods stores.

The Amazon Go store, which has no cashiers and allows shoppers to buy things with the help of a smartphone app, is widely seen as a concept that can alter brick-and-mortar retail. Fresh prepared foods, however, are supplied via an off-site Amazon facility rather than an in-store kitchen. But it has pushed back on past reports that executives had given the green light to a major expansion of Go. Customers pick up what they want and are scanned and charged automatically, without having to wait in line for a cashier to physically handle their purchase.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Amazon is considering different models as it looks to expand Go, including weighing whether to include a limited selection of groceries, or simply focus on prepared food pickup. "The key to success will be convenient locations".

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