Amazon Go Rolls Out New Chicago Store

September 20, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

The Amazon Go concept may be one of the biggest advancements in mobile payments in some time; it’s basically just a store that’s sufficiently automated that it doesn’t need  cashiers therein. For a while, these were only available in Seattle, which is where Amazon hangs its hat. Now, there’s a new store available, and outside Seattle, too; it’s landed in no less than Chicago.

The new Amazon Go outlet will be open weekdays from 7 AM to 8 PM, and it represents the fourth such outlet opened since Amazon started the process. Shoppers will have access to the normal range of convenience store options, including meal kits for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as hot dish options.

Shopping in an Amazon Go location, whether in Chicago or Seattle, is accomplished much the same way: shoppers download the Amazon Go app, and then scan the app before entering. Purchases made in the Amazon Go store are then credited to the shopper’s Amazon account, which is then charged as normal.

While no cashiers are needed, depending on the location, people do work there to serve as identification checkers for those who purchase alcohol or the like. Some humans also work in preparing the meal kits and hot dish options. It’s also a fairly safe bet that those humans are also kept on hand for security measures as well; wouldn’t want someone waltzing into an unmanned store and taking things, hoping a police response would prevent such things.

Since this is the first time that an Amazon Go location has been seen outside of Seattle, it’s a safe bet that the Chicago store will be especially closely watched. After all, Seattle and Chicago are two very different markets, and what’s barely touched in Seattle might be huge in Chicago. This should be an excellent opportunity for Amazon to see what’s popular in a midwestern market, as well as a market that’s exposed to a lot of cold and snow. That data alone should be very useful, especially if it plans expansions into places like Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, or even New York City.

Only time will tell just what comes of this development, but for right now, Amazon may have made a great move branching out into Chicago, and hopefully from there, further into the midwest.