Chicago Has Amazon Go

The cashierless convenience store is now open in the Windy City, while the retailer launched its online Amazon Storefronts section this week.

September 19, 2018

CHICAGO – Amazon Go’s first location outside Seattle is now open for business in the Windy City, the Chicago Tribune reports. Amazon Go currently has three other locations in Seattle.

The Chicago location is on the ground floor of the retailer’s Chicago office building. Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, said the store is more about streamlining the in-person shopping experience than it is about reducing the workforce. “I don’t know a ton of people who say, ‘I love the part where I wait in line and they ring up all my stuff,’” she said.

Amazon Go stocks premade sandwiches, snacks and salads, as well as packaged beverages and other traditional convenience store items. The chain aims to eliminate a customer’s extra steps. “Every time we have removed a little bit of friction, it has always paid dividends,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology for Amazon Go and Amazon Books.

Thus far, Amazon has been happy with the response to Amazon Go stores, but Puerini wouldn’t speculate on how large the company wanted to grow the c-store chain. Right now, Amazon Go stores are scheduled to open in San Francisco and New York City.

Meanwhile, this week Amazon opened several small business “storefronts,” according to a company press release. Amazon Storefronts is an online section with more than a million curated products and deals from thousands of smaller companies. Customers can find out behind-the-scenes information about the profiled businesses via stories and videos posted alongside merchandise, which is arranged in more than two dozen categories, such as pet supplies, books and home.

“We’ve created a custom, one-stop shopping experience for customers looking for interesting, innovative and high-quality products from American businesses from all across the country,” said Nicholas Denissen, an Amazon vice president. “Amazon first invited businesses to sell on Amazon nearly two decades ago, and today, small and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of Amazon’s large selection and commitment to customers.”