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Amazon could open 3,000 cashierless Go stores by 2021

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Amazon may open 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021 - as survey reveals it's now third in online ads

Bloomberg points out that the initial stores have carried a high setup cost, requiring $1 million in hardware alone, making the prospect of opening 3,000 stores a multi-billion dollar investment.

Amazon is mulling a plan to open as many as 3,000 cashierless food stores over the next three years, according to a media report.

Amazon opened its first cashierless store in Seattle two years ago and has launched two additional locations in Seattle and another in Chicago. United Kingdom -based Pret has 450 locations worldwide, including New York, Boston and Chicago, focusing on fresh, healthy grab-and-go foods.

If Amazon follows through with the rumored plan, it would pose a threat to convenience store chains like 7-Eleven, which must bear the expense of paying cashiers and other staff, Bloomberg said.

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Sleek black cameras monitoring from above and weight sensors in the shelves help Amazon determine exactly what people take. That would mark a dramatic expansion of Amazon's brick-and-mortar footprint, and could pose an immediate challenge to food sellers from convenience chains like 7-Eleven to large format grocers like Kroger. The target locations make it less of a threat to suburban gas station-convenience store combinations and more of a threat to big cities' quick-service eateries, such as Subway Restaurants, Panera Bread Co. and Pret a Manger.

Amazon Go is basically a dream come true for introverts. It would also give Amazon a much expanded footprint of physical stores in the U.S., adding to its more than 350 Whole Foods stores. "If we offer a me-too product, it's not going to work", he said. Fresh prepared foods, however, are supplied via an off-site Amazon facility rather than an in-store kitchen. It would also change Amazon's business, putting more focus on its physical stores.

If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.

Driving Amazon Go's checkout-free shopping experience is Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology. Once they scan their phones at a turnstile, they can grab what they want from a range of salads, sandwiches, drinks and snacks - and then walk out without stopping at a cash register. "The key to success will be convenient locations".

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