Amazon Go Courts Suburbanites

Just Walk Out technology will power larger format Go stores.

January 26, 2022

Amazon Go Store

Editor's Note: This story is updated from the original posted 01/26/22.

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Amazon announced it is planning to open more Amazon Go stores in America’s suburbs, reports Business Insider. Amazon will keep the Amazon Go name and cashierless technology, but the store formats will be larger at around 3,200 to 6,000 square feet, compared with the urban Amazon Go stores, which are 450 to 2,700 square feet.

The suburban Amazon Go stores will offer grab-and-go food items, snacks, alcohol and everyday essentials.

The first suburb location will be in Mill Creek, Washington, which is about 20 miles northeast of Seattle, with a population of 20,000. The Mill Creek store will be about 3,240 square feet in size. The next location will be in the Los Angeles metro area, says Amazon.

“We think local residents and commuters will enjoy the ease of our Just Walk Out shopping to quickly and conveniently shop from an expanded selection of tasty, ready-to-eat food items and grab-and-go beverages and snacks in their own neighborhood,” said Amazon in a statement.

Amazon Go stores are equipped with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, which allows customers to bypass the self-checkout line and walk out of the store with their products. Business Insider reports that the technology has declined in cost by 96% since 2017, from $4 million to $159,000, allowing Amazon to roll out more of its Go stores.

Amazon has been expanding its Amazon Fresh stores recently, with plans to open in New England. Amazon Fresh locations offer the Amazon Dash Cart that keeps track of items as they go into the cart. Customers can then skip the line and exit through the store’s Amazon Dash Cart lane, where sensors automatically identify the cart, and the payment is processed using the credit card on the customer’s Amazon account.

Last year, Amazon announced it will open two Whole Foods Market stores equipped with Just Walk Out technology. One store will open in Washington, D.C., in the Glover Park neighborhood, and the other will be in Sherman Oaks, California.

Ninety percent of people used unattended retail as much as they had prior to the pandemic or more during the pandemic, reported NACS Daily, and more retailers are exploring ways to eliminate friction for customers, including skipping the checkout line. Choice convenience stores in Denver offer self-checkout, walkout technology and an app, which all sync and communicate with each other. Additionally, Choice Market and St. Louis-based Health Hospitality Partners have partnered to create the first autonomous markets in a health-care setting.