Amazon ‘planning 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021’

Amazon is reportedly working on plans to open as many as 3,000 AmazonGo cashierless stores in by 2021.

The e-commerce giant is currently trialling its AmazonGo technology with three US stores near its headquarters in Seattle and one in Chicago, with plans to expand to San Francisco and New York before rolling the retail concept out more extensively in the US, Bloomberg reported, citing people close to the matter.

Two of the stores offer ‘meal-on-the-run options’ of salads, sandwiches and snacks, while the other two, including the original Go store, stock groceries.

The plans include a strategy to have ten locations open in total by the end of 2018, and 20 open in major urban centres by 2019, before further expansion to around 3,000 by 2021.

Amazon Go stores are cashier-free and allow shoppers to make purchases via a smartphone app, with sensors and computer-vision technology to detect what shoppers take from the shelves.

Shoppers have to scan a smartphone app to enter the stores and are billed via their credit or debit card details once they leave.

Bloomberg reported that the plans may be hindered by the high cost of opening stores, with hardware alone for the original Go store said to have cost more than $1 million.

Shares in US supermarket chains Walmart, Kroger Co and Target Corp fell between 0.6 and 3 per cent respectively following the report.

A spokeswoman for Amazon said:"We don't comment on rumors or speculation."

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