Amazon Could Spend $3 Billion on ‘Go’ Stores, Analyst Says

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"We see Amazon as having to invest between $0.5 billion and $3 billion in building these 3,000 stores", analysts led by Brian Nowak wrote Thursday.

Bloomberg notes that with Amazon's focus on dense metro areas, those likely to be affected by the cashierless stores include businesses like Subway, Panera and Pret A Manger - restaurants that allow for quick eating or convenient takeaway.

Amazon opened its first Go branch, underneath its Seattle headquarters, at the start of this year.

Since then it has announced two additional sites in Seattle and one in Chicago, Bloomberg said. Amazon is also planning to open one in NY. Some of the shops only offer a limited selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks, while others have a small selection of groceries, making it more akin to a convenience store.

Sleek black cameras monitoring from above and weight sensors in the shelves help Amazon determine exactly what people take.

An Amazon representative told Business Insider the company does not comment on "rumours or speculation". Under the plan cited by Bloomberg, 10 Go stores would be up and running by the end of 2018, 50 in 2019, and up to 3,000 by 2021.

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By rolling out 3,000 Amazon Go stores, Amazon would quickly become one of the biggest chains in the US, Bloomberg said.

News of the company's potential ambitions for Amazon Go sent shares of grocery and retail rivals lower. 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. But it has pushed back on past reports that executives had given the green light to a major expansion of Go.

"Go's technology and offering furthers Amazon's efforts to build deeper, more integrated relationships with consumers, with the goals being to increase data capture and understanding of consumer demand and intent and ultimately drive higher/more frequent purchase behavior", they wrote. "We shall see", Wolf said at the roundtable event. With 3,000 stores to its name, Amazon would stand to take a sizable bite of that pie.

You have to scan the Amazon Go app on your phone to enter the store. Its key feature is a complete lack of lines to wait in.

Driving Amazon Go's checkout-free shopping experience is Amazon's "Just Walk Out" technology. "It's too far away".