Retailers

Amazon Go Opens Second Store in Seattle

New location launches seven months after e-tailer debuted pilot site
Photograph: Shutterstock

Seven months after opening its first cashierless convenience store, Amazon took the wraps off a second Amazon Go location in its hometown of Seattle on Monday.

The new store is similar to the first, with app-activated turnstiles at the entrance; cameras and sensors tracking customer and item movement; and a frictionless checkout process. There are a few different twists in Amazon Go's second smaller footprint store, which is 350 square feet smaller than the 1,450-square-foot flagship location, including no indoor kitchen, and no beer, wine or grocery staples such as bread and milk.  

The store will receive fresh food from another Amazon kitchen facility in Seattle, according to a report from the Seattle Times, which toured the new Amazon Go ahead of its opening.

With a new location comes a new base of customers. “The population here is a little different,” said Gianna Puerini, the Amazon vice president overseeing Amazon Go, during the tour. The first location is closer to residential neighborhoods, while the most recent unit caters more to office workers. The shelves are stocked with nonperishable items such as candy, gum, drinks and grab-and-go oatmeal packs. The store will only open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Amazon will not reveal details about future stores at this time and has not responded to a request for comment from WGB's sister publication CSP, but previous reports indicate plans for sites in Willis Tower and the Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, as well as a location in San Francisco’s Union Square.

The announcement follows news of concepts competitive with Amazon’s smart c-store. Anderson, Ind.-based Ricker’s recently announced plans to roll out an app-based checkout service in all 58 of its convenience stores that allows customers to scan items with their mobile device and show the receipt on the screen to an employee before leaving. Elsewhere, Zippin, a startup with headquarters in San Francisco, has opened a “checkout-free” software platform similar to Amazon Go. Even big-box retailers are looking into frictionless checkout. Walmart is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to develop its own version of no-checkout technology.

Amazon has also been silent concerning its plans for how it will bring its frictionless tech to market, but Matt Day, business reporter for the Seattle Times, suspects Amazon will keep the tech to itself. “The company earlier this year confirmed plans for Go stores in Chicago and San Francisco, indicating to analysts who track the company that Amazon planned to continue to build out stores using the technology itself, rather than license it to other retailers,” wrote Day.

Whatever Amazon’s plans for the future may be, the company is clearly improving its Amazon Go launch process. The first public store opening was delayed for an entire year while Amazon tweaked the store’s tech. This second location opened about seven months after the first.

A version of this story was published by WGB's sister brand CSP.

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