Amazon hopes to ultimately operate more than 2,000 grocery and convenience stores across the US in a number of different formats. The goal is for Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the US, to completely control the physical flow of products from its warehouses to the end consumer, opening up the possibility for a more robust delivery network and a retail presence that rivals Target and Walmart.
Of the three varieties of stores Amazon is considering opening, the convenience store model is the most concrete. Earlier today, the company took the wraps off Amazon Go, an ambitious cashier-less store in its hometown of Seattle that uses artificial intelligence and sensors to track which items consumers take off shelves. That way, you can simply walk out of the store without having to go through a checkout line. This gives Amazon a critical way to track consumer buying behavior offline.
In the cashier-less concept store in Amazon's hometown of Seattle, Washington, customers can fill their shopping carts and walk out—with the costs tallied up and billed on their accounts with the US online giant. Amazon Go, which is being tested in a single store with Amazon employees and will open to the public next year, is a "checkout-free shopping experience made possible by the same types of technologies used in self-driving cars: computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning," its web page says.
The other store formats Amazon is considering include a smaller drive-thru variety and a huge, European-style discount chain. The drive-thru prototypes are weeks away from becoming a reality
The larger discount chain model would involve constructing 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot stores that combine instant purchasing with a kind of IKEA model. That way, consumers could order in-store via touchscreens or online and then pick up the finished packages curbside later on.
SOURCES- Wall street Journal, Phys Org, Amazon, The Verge