Amazon is looking to grow its burgeoning Go store experience by thinking small. Reuters reports that Amazon has created a smaller version of its cashierless convenience store that can fit inside existing high-traffic areas like office buildings.
Like so many of Amazon’s products, the first such mini-Go is already in place in one of Amazon’s office buildings in Seattle. Coming in at just 450 square feet, this Go-lite sells snacks and salads to hungry Amazonians.
Word of the micro-Go comes just days after a report that Amazon was in talks to put its regular Go stores in airports. Putting the pieces together, we can see Amazon’s plans for its Go store rollout take shape: just put them everywhere.
In all seriousness though, the checkout line-less Amazon Go store experience is perfect for high-traffic areas like airports and busy office buildings. Shrinking the footprint down and reducing the inventory to real grab-and-go items like snacks lines up with the lifestyle of harried workers looking for a fast bite.
My first thought upon reading the news of the li’l Go store was how it would impact other tiny convenience stores coming to the market. Deep Mind builds similar small cashierless walk-in kiosks to create retail environments inside office lobbies and such. But its technology is hampered by the fact that it can only service one purchaser at a time.
Then there are companies like Byte Foods and Stockwell (formerly Bodega). Byte makes smart office fridges that vend food, while Stockwell makes credenza-sized mini-marts that employ similar grab-and-go technology for populous spaces like apartment buildings. How small will Amazon go with its Gos? Both could feel the heat if Amazon ratchets this tiny Go initiative, and there’s no reason to think that they won’t.
Amazon seems to be hitting the accelerator when it comes to Go, as the company is hiring like crazy to grow the Go team. Amazon is a trusted brand name that deeply understands delivery and fulfillment, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Amazon turns little shopping stores into a big business.