Amazon is building out a second location of its cashierless Go Grocery store, The Seattle Times reported yesterday. This second location will be “coming soon” to the Seattle suburb of Redmond, WA. and at the same time, Amazon is hiring for a third such store in Washington D.C..
In addition to these cashierless stores, The Times reports that its regular grocery store (like the one built in Woodland Hills, CA) is coming to more areas in Seattle, California, and the Chicago and Washington, D.C..
Amazon opened its first Go Grocery in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle earlier this year. As we wrote at that time:
Just like it’s smaller convenience store bretheren, Amazon’s Go Grocery uses a series of built-in cameras and sensors to automatically monitor what shoppers pick up and keep, and charge them accordingly when they walk out of the store. However, the new version of this cashierless technology has been updated, allowing Go Grocery to expand and also automatically monitor the purchase of fresh items like apples and lettuce, which had been harder for computer vision and sensors to keep track of.
Amazon is expanding is physical grocery ambitions at a time when the global pandemic created record amounts of online grocery shopping. That deluge of e-commerce however swamped Amazon’s grocery delivery service forcing it to create waitlists and convert its Woodland Hills store into delivery only.
Having a network of physical stores was one way Walmart was able to outmaneuver Amazon during this pandemic. Having real world locations opens up the possibilities of curbside grocery pickup, which can be more convenient than trying to schedule a home delivery.
As the pandemic continues, cashierless checkout technology like Amazon’s could be attractive, however, to wary shoppers who want more of a contactless commerce experience.
We’ll certainly be watching Amazon to see how quickly it expands it grocery footprint over the coming year.