Amazon wants to open as many as 3,000 new cashierless stores in the next few years. The online retail giant wants to open 10 Amazon Go locations by the end of this year, 50 by the end of next year and 3,000 by 2021.
"What they are doing is trying to find the proper intersection between bricks and clicks,” says Darrin Duber-Smith, a marketing professor at Metropolitan State University Denver. “They have always been clicks, and now they are moving into bricks.”
Duber-Smith says in a time where physical stores are closing faster than we can click 'Add to Cart,' Amazon is redefining the retail space once again.
"The nature of shopping is changing as we speak, and Amazon is a part of driving that change and determining what that change looks like," Duber-Smith says.
These grab-and-go locations will have Amazon going head to head with convenience stores, fast-food chains and even the small mom and pop shops, Duber-Smith says.
3,000 stores may sound like a lot of Amazon Go locations, but compare that number to the 10,000 7-Eleven convenient stores in the U.S. and nearly 27,000 Subway shops and the 350,000 independently owned restaurants, you have to ask, will Amazon Go stores even make a dent?
"It's not the number, it’s more the magnitude of having that Amazon brand now everywhere and not just online,” says Duber-Smith. “But it will become ubiquitous on the streets."
However, Duber-Smith says Amazon is not the ruler of the retail world just yet.
"They're kind of the new Walmart, he says.
“The two companies are really positioned against each other, and it's kind of like Godzilla and King Kong, two Goliaths that are going at it."