Amazon has been slowly expanding its cashierless checkout-free Go store concepts beyond Seattle in 2018, establishing locations in San Francisco and Chicago. But now the e-Commerce giant reportedly is seeking to break ground in perhaps its most lucrative destination yet: New York City.
The store will reside in Brookfield Place, formerly known as the World Financial Center, in Manhattan’s Battery Park City neighborhood, according to Recode. This is prime real estate for Amazon: the shopping and office complex is right across from the World Trade Center and is near the heavily trafficked Westfield World Trade Center shopping center, located within Lower Manhattan’s Oculus transportation hub.
An NYC Go store would be the second retail concept Amazon has opened in the city in two months. The company opened Amazon 4-star, a general store featuring various items from the e-Commerce site that have garnered ratings of four stars or higher, in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
If reports are any indication, expect more of these cashierless concepts in the future. Amazon is reportedly considering a plan to open up to 3,000 new Amazon Go cashierless stores by 2021, with more than 50 units in major locations by 2019.
So far, there are three Amazon Go stores in the company’s home town of Seattle, two in Chicago and one in San Francisco. Amazon already has filed for health permits to open a second San Francisco location.
The expansion comes as Amazon seeks to scale up its “Just Walk Out” technology, which includes sensors, deep learning algorithms and computer vision designed to detect how many customers are in the store, and what items have been taken off and returned to shelves. The technology automatically charges customers for goods they have picked out when they walk out of the store, so they don’t have to wait in a checkout line. To shop at Amazon Go, consumers scan an app on their smartphones upon entry.
The Go stores are expensive to build; the original Seattle store required more than $1 million in hardware costs alone. But the success of the stores would be a major step for Amazon in the prepared foods/convenience arena.
Amazon already has an existing relationship with Brookfield Properties, the owner of Brookfield Place, but has not commented on the report. The e-Commerce giant announced last fall that it had signed a 15-year lease for 360,000 square feet of office space inside Brookfield’s 5 Manhattan West complex.