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July 4, 2018

Amazon is opening a second, much larger checkout-less store

by John_A

Amazon is opening its second “grab-and-go” store in the coming months, and it promises to be much larger than its first one.

Amazon Go lets customers take their items and leave without having to visit a checkout. Cameras and sensors placed around the store automatically record a shopper’s selections before charging them to their account when they exit the store.

The new Amazon Go will be located inside the Madison Centre building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street in the company’s home city of Seattle, GeekWire reported on Tuesday. That’s about a mile from Amazon’s Day 1 tower where the first Go store opened in January.

“We are excited to bring Amazon Go to 920 5th Avenue in Seattle,” Amazon confirmed in a statement, adding that it’ll open in the fall of 2018.

Permit filings seen by GeekWire suggest the store will be significantly larger of the original one, with space of 3,000 square feet compared to 1,800 square feet.

In May, Amazon confirmed it’s also looking to open Go stores in Chicago and San Francisco, though it declined to offer any specific dates. It’s already secured a permit for the construction of what’s believed to be a Go store in Chicago’s Loop district, while Union Square has reportedly been selected for the San Francisco site.

There have also been reports that the company wants to open as many as six Amazon Go stores in U.S. cities before the end of 2018.

The apparent expansion drive is confirmation that the company is happy with the operation of its original checkout-less store, with its technology functioning as it should. As you’d expect with such a revolutionary idea, the original store saw extensive testing with Amazon employees before it opened to the public, and things didn’t always go to plan.

To shop at the high-tech store, customers only need to scan their Amazon Go app when they enter the premises. After that, it’s simply a case of choosing your items and popping them in your bag. The system can even track when you put a previously selected item back on the shelf, should you change your mind as you make your way around.

The interest in checkout-less stores is apparently spreading to other big companies, too. Last month, reports surfaced that Microsoft is developing similar technology and is in talks with Walmart about a possible partnership.

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