Amazon could be planning to open as many as 3,000 cashier-free Amazon Go stores over the next few years, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Such a move would mark a significant ramping up of a concept that Amazon opened to the public only this year. To overstate the obvious, it could also spell doom for traditional grocers, convenience store operators, and corner bodegas.
Shares of Walmart and Kroger both dropped on news of Bloomberg‘s report, which cited anonymous sources. An Amazon spokeswoman said the company doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.
Per the report, Amazon is experimenting with various concepts, such as a store that sells prepared foods and quick lunchtime bites. At Amazon’s existing Go stores, shoppers grab the items they want and pay with a smartphone app without needing to check out at a cash register. A proliferation of cashier-free lunch spots could prove too appealing to pass up for time-strapped consumers, even those who decried efforts last year by a company called Bodega that aimed to make corner stores obsolete. Amazon Go could be like Bodega on steroids, albeit without the tone-deaf name.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon is planning to have at least 50 locations by the end of next year and as many as 3,000 by 2021.