Last month Amazon officially opened its autonomous Go grocery store in downtown Seattle. Designed with quick in-and-out service at the forefront, Amazon’s continual forward-thinking approach has been making waves over the last year. At this time, only a single unmanned grocery store has opened its doors to date, but a new report from Recode says more locations may soon be on the way.
Amazon started making in-roads at grocery stores last summer with its acquisition of Whole Foods. Over the last six months a variety of new perks have popped up, including the recently announced 5% cash back bonus for Amazon credit card holders.
Today’s report from Recode says that Amazon is slated to open some six new Go locations in 2018, with more coming down the line next year. To no surprise, initial plans are for West Coast openings in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles. The former makes obvious sense with Amazon’s heavy presence in Washington and its first Go storefront already located downtown. Three locations are said to be in the works for Seattle, in total.
As for Los Angeles, it appears that The Grove has been earmarked as a potential first location for Amazon’s cashierless locations. The 600,000-sq. foot retail center sits in one of LA’s most popular districts and is a natural fit for Amazon.
The flagship Amazon Go location in downtown Seattle was 1,800-sq. feet in size, making it smaller than most traditional grocery stores. Time will tell if Amazon is able to ramp up the footprint of its retail locations, or if its in-house autonomous technology struggles to adapt to larger spaces.
Amazon’s first Go location is open from 7AM to 9PM Monday through Friday, with plans to expand hours over time. Being open on the weekends seems like a no-brainer for future locations, but again depends on the viability of this technology.
I was able to swing by the Seattle location last summer and check out how Go functions. Although just in beta form at the time, there was a fun futuristic vibe about the whole setup that made me excited for what’s potentially ahead.
It’s been a big start to the year for Amazon, with a number of new initiatives starting to take shape. Most recently, news came down that the online giant is exploring the feasibility of its own delivery service. This year is certainly shaping up to be a big one for Amazon, and we’ll be right here every step of the way covering the latest news.