Amazon plans to open its seventh Amazon Go store location in Seattle, expanding its brick-and-mortar grocery footprint despite the ongoing pandemic.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the new convenience store, located at 1423 4th Ave. in the heart of downtown Seattle. It’s unclear when the store will open but signage has gone up. The 1,475 square-foot location previously housed an Office Depot retail location that closed in 2016.
The original Amazon Go store opened in January 2018 in the base of Amazon’s Day One office tower in Seattle. Amazon now has more than 25 Amazon Go locations across Chicago, New York CIty, San Francisco, and Seattle. Most remain open but a few are temporarily closed.
Amazon has expanded its grocery store initiatives with the larger Amazon Go Grocery locations that opened in the Seattle region this year. The company also recently opened its first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills, Calif. that features new smart grocery carts.
In September Amazon rolled out its new Amazon One palm-reading biometric identification system at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle. Amazon is also now selling its Amazon Go technology to other retailers.
Shoppers at Amazon Go grocery stores enter by scanning a smartphone app. Banks of cameras and sensors overhead track everything put into a shopping cart, with the help of artificial intelligence — rendering unnecessary the ritual of scanning and paying at a checkout stand. Items are charged to a shopper’s Amazon account shortly after they walk through the exit.
CNBC reported that the pandemic is forcing physical grocers to adapt similar checkout-free technology and other digital initiatives.
The pandemic has caused online grocery ordering to surge. Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for nearly $14 billion, saw online grocery sales triple in the second quarter.
Amazon is also setting overall revenue and profit records this year as the company continues to meet rising demand for its products and services amid the pandemic. The tech giant posted $96.1 billion in third quarter revenue, up 37% from the year-ago quarter. Its physical stores category, which includes Whole Foods and Amazon Go stores, posted revenue of $3.8 billion, down 10%.
Amazon Go has more than 200 openings for jobs.