Amazon is planning to open a second Seattle location for its Amazon Go cashierless store concept this fall at an office building at 920 5th Ave. in the city, according to GeekWire.
An Amazon spokesperson e-mailed Retail Dive confirming this plan: "We are excited to bring Amazon Go to 920 5th Avenue in Seattle. The store will open in Fall 2018."
At 3,000 square feet, the planned store is roughly 1,200 square feet larger than the first Amazon Go store in Seattle, which opened to the public last January after a long period of testing, according to city permit filings accessed by GeekWire.
Amazon reportedly plans to open around six Amazon Go stores in 2018. News of a second location planned for Seattle comes as no surprise, since this is Amazon’s home market. It doesn't seem like Amazon was trying very hard to keep this one a secret either, as GeekWire found easy evidence at the location itself that an Amazon Go is in the works. The first Go stores outside of Seattle appear destined for Chicago and San Francisco, where Amazon already has chosen locations, according to local reports from both cities.
The e-commerce giant is not alone in aiming to provide customers with a shopping experience free of checkout lines. Several convenience and grocery retailers are adopting similar technology, and Juniper Research has estimated that we’ll see $78 billion in cashierless transactions by 2022. Amazon Go may not have the most cashierless locations as the trend continues to play out, but it certainly gets credit for getting the ball rolling.
One of the interesting details of this second Seattle location for Amazon Go is that it appears to stretch the notion of Amazon Go as a small, convenience store-like operation. It makes one wonder what exactly Amazon might use the extra space for — perhaps more inventory based on early customer feedback? We’ll see.
In any case, Amazon Go has come a long way in a short time this year after a long slow jog to the starting line. The public opening of the very first store was delayed for almost a year after technical problems became apparent. Some of those problems made themselves known when the pilot store got crowded or shoppers were moving too quickly to be tracked. The ongoing expansion is a clear sign that Amazon is past these early problems, and more space in the second Seattle store certainly means that Amazon is ready for the crowds to come.