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Amazon Go Coming to Chicago, San Francisco

E-com behemoth confirms plans to expand smart c-store concept

E-commerce retailer Amazon will open new automated Amazon Go locations in Chicago and San Francisco, although specifics on when the units might open have not been revealed.

Amazon Go is a no-checkout brick-and-mortar convenience store. There is currently only one Amazon Go location in downtown Seattle. The 1,800-square-foot unit has been open to the public since January, but it underwent employee testing for about a year before its public opening.

There have been signs that Amazon has been planning to expand to Chicago and San Francisco for some time. In February, real estate tracker Curbed reported a building permit for a 625-square-foot “Amazon store” downtown near the Thompson Center building.

More recently, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Seattle-based Amazon is also opening a location in San Francisco, possibly at Post and Kearny streets near Union Square.

Anyone with the Amazon Go smartphone app and a functioning credit or debit card can enter and make purchases from the Seattle store. Customers use a QR code on their smartphone to enter. To purchase an item, shoppers simply grab it and walk out of the store with it. No formal checkout process is required. Cameras and sensors in the shop’s ceiling and shelves track customer and item movement. Once a customer leaves the store with an item, that customer’s account is automatically charged.

The announcement comes amid Amazon's search for a second headquarters, the results of which have yet to be announced.

This story originally appeared on WGB sister brand CSP.

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