SEATTLE—Amazon has announced plans to open more than 10 Amazon Go convenience stores in the U.K. and is in talks regarding 20 more potential Amazon Go sites, reports the CEO Magazine. The first store is set to open before the end of the year in London.
The e-commerce giant opened its first checkout-free Amazon Go store in Seattle in 2018, and there are now 25 U.S. locations in Seattle, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. To enter a store, shoppers scan their unique barcode on their Amazon Go app, and the completely cashierless stores keep track of each shopper’s purchases using a series of cameras. While stores don’t have cashiers, Amazon Go employees are on-site to assist customers and replenish stock.
Shoppers are charged for the items they’re carrying as they leave the store, and their accounts are billed. Each shopper receives an email receipt from the company detailing everything purchased once they’ve left.
In late April, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos warned investors to prepare for a possible loss in the second quarter, as Amazon planned to spend US $4 billion—its expected second-quarter operating profit—on COVID 19-related expenses. The company projected a potential loss of $1.5 billion for the second quarter but instead ended up breaking records for both its top and bottom lines.
The $88 billion in sales made the last quarter the best in Amazon’s history, beating out the 2019 Christmas holiday season by $1 billion and performing 40% better than the second quarter of 2019, when Amazon recorded sales of $63.4 billion. Its $5.24 billion in net income is double that of the same quarter last year. Additionally, due to the record-breaking sales, Amazon stock rose 5% to US $3,204 a share, currently trading at US $3,164.68.
“This was another highly unusual quarter, and I couldn’t be more proud of and grateful to our employees around the globe,” Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
It was an unprecedented sales volume for a normally slow period, from April to June, said Brian Olsavsky, CFO of Amazon, during an earnings call with analysts. Much of the growth was driven by Prime members, he said. In addition, worldwide streaming hours doubled and online grocery sales tripled year-over-year, suggesting that consumers are making good use of their prime membership in light of government stay-at-home orders imposed due to the pandemic.