Amazon Go is go!

Amazon Go opened today in Chicago, marking the company’s first cashierless convenience store outside of its hometown of Seattle. But Amazon isn’t letting its growing store chain wander off too far on its own. The new Amazon Go is located on the first floor of the office complex where Amazon’s Chicago office located.

For those keeping track at home, this is the fourth Amazon Go store to open. In order, Amazon has launched:

  1. January 22, 2018: Seattle, 7th Ave. – 1,800 sq. ft.
  2. August 27, 2018: Seattle, 5th Ave. – 1,450 sq. ft.
  3. September 4, 2018: Seattle, Boren Ave. – 2,100 sq. ft.
  4. September 17, 2018: Chicago, S. Franklin – 2,000 sq. ft.

Amazon opened up three locations in less than a month, and we know it has plans to expand into both New York and San Francisco. We can expect the pace of openings to accelerate as the company gains more experience and more data.

The company’s growth strategy is important to track as it is leading the way in implementing cashierless stores at scale. The literal grab-and-go technology allows you to quickly shop for what you want and leave the store without going through a checkout line.

The Go stores have the potential to disrupt not only traditional corner stores, but also urban grocery stores, and with its prepared food and meal kit offerings, Go could disrupt local restaurant business wherever they set up.

Amazon will need to establish a strong beachhead, both geographically and technologically, as there are many upstarts vying to be the leader in the cashierless store space. Microsoft is reportedly working on its own version of the technology and has been talking with Walmart. Israel-based Trigo Vision says its cashierless tech can already work at supermarket-size scale. Startup Standard Cognition opened up Standard Market in San Francisco last week to showcase its cashierless technology. And Aipoly is developing its own cashierless store solution.

If you go to see Go in Chicago, drop us a line and let us know.

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