Amazon Go

UPDATE: Since the time of this post, we learned that the second Go store is actually smaller.

In addition to expanding the number of locations of its Go stores, Amazon is also working on making them bigger. According to a story in Geekwire, Amazon is prepping a second Amazon Go location in Seattle opening in the Fall of this year, and this one will be 3,000 square feet, compared with the 1,800 square feet of its first location. It’s a baby step, but it’s another move towards creating a full-on (everything) store with Amazon grab-and-go technology.

We are big fans of the Amazon Go experience, and we actually called it out specifically in our innovative FoodTech 25. Relying on smartphones and a series of high-tech sensors and cameras to keep track of inventory and charge customers, the store is cashierless, allowing people to walk in, pick up what they want, and walk out. No checkout lines, no cash registers.

The existing Seattle store can feel a bit cramped, though that could be because when we visited it, the store was overrun with lookeeloos and journalists snapping pictures. Nonetheless, it certainly had more of a bodega vibe to it.

The additional 1,200 square feet at the next location could have any number of uses. Obviously, Amazon could add more packaged items, perhaps even produce, which was lacking in the first location. But the space could also be used for a larger prep area to assemble more pre-made sandwiches (Amazon says people love the Chicken Bahn Mi) or up meal kit production. Or they could just use it to hawk more of their Echo and Fire devices.

Though Amazon didn’t officially announce the second Seattle store location (it confirmed Geekwire’s story), news of it did break on the same day the company announced its 2018 Prime Day sale, which this year includes discounts at Whole Foods, Amazon’s brick and mortar grocery chain.

The new Amazon Go location will still be much smaller than a Whole Foods, but it will begin to scale up Amazon’s in-store tech; its computer vision will need to scale up and work seamlessly with more items, more people and more activity. These incremental steps will continue to train this technology, ratcheting up until eventually we (presumably) get the first cashierless Whole Foods store.

In addition to this bigger version of Go, Amazon is set to open new retail locations in San Francisco and Chicago. The Chicago store will reportedly be 625 square feet. As these announcements roll out, we will continue to track not only the location, but also the size of new Go stores to see how quickly they evolve.

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