Amazon.com's cashier-free grocery store of the future is coming to San Francisco and Chicago. The company is expanding its experimental Amazon Go store to the two cities, but didn't say when they would open. It has posted job listings for store managers in the cities on its site, which were first noticed by the Seattle Times. Amazon confirmed its plans for the two cities in a statement. Earlier reports from Curbed and the San Francisco Chronicle found clues that Amazon was eying retail space in the two cities. Currently there's one Amazon Go store, located in the retailer's hometown of Seattle. The store uses a collection of cameras and sensors to constantly track customers and inventory as they move around. Shoppers need to open the Amazon Go app to enter, and any products they take from the store are automatically charged to their account when they leave.
Total Retail's Take: The expansion of the Amazon Go concept has been rumored for a while, and now we have confirmation from Amazon that it will be opening the tech-centric stores in two new markets. There's been little made public about the success (or failure) of the pilot store in Seattle, but with the announcement that two new stores will be opening (although without a given timeline), one has to surmise that Amazon is pleased with the performance of its Amazon Go store. I'm sure there are still some kinks to be worked out before an even more widespread rollout takes place — loss prevention likely being at the top of that list — but Amazon appears committed to growing this concept and further solidifying its place in the grocery market. And at least at the beginning, I'm sure the novelty effect will have the crowds lining up in Chicago and San Francisco to try out the new stores.