Amazon Brings Convenience to Chicago

Amazon has increasingly become the dominant player in not only the digital age but consumer’s minds as well. Based on their extensive expansions, Amazon seemingly has their sights set on the whole world. What started as a simple website for book-selling has grown into a $105 billion dollar company with a market cap of $1 trillion.

The newest innovation to come from Amazon? Their new Amazon Go store. Designed to satisfy time-crunched customers, the store is small and easy to navigate, providing a selection of grab-and-go food and snack items. So, what makes this different than any other 7-11 featured on Chicago’s city corners? At the Amazon Go store, you leave… without paying.

Photo Courtesy of Curbed Chicago

Ok, so you still pay for the items, just not in the traditional sense. Upon entering the store, you must “sign-in” with an app that lets the store know you’ve arrived. From there, you pick out what you want while cameras and sensors track your shopping and add items to your virtual cart. Once you walk out with your items you are charged through your Amazon account, making this a completely cashless experience that Amazon is calling “just walk out shopping”.

Photo Courtesy of CSP Daily News

Amazon opened its first Chicago location last month, making it the fourth Amazon Go store and the first one to be outside of Seattle, Amazon’s hometown. Since then, Amazon has added a second Chicago location as well as an Amazon Go Pop-up located in Water Tower Place with plans to open a third store connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center (OTC).

Photo Courtesy of NXT Startup

With positive feedback flooding in, the company is considering a plan to open up to 3,000 Amazon Go stores in the next few years. The next cities on their list? New York and San Francisco have been mentioned but Dilip Kumar, VP of Technology for Amazon Go/Amazon Books, declined to confirm.

Photo Courtesy of Curbed Chicago

Chicago being the first city outside of Seattle to be chosen for Amazon Go locations has come at a crucial time, with Amazon still deciding on where to locate their next headquarters – a list that Chicago remains on despite it getting shorter and shorter. Could Amazon Go be a sign that Chicago has won the bid? We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s safe to say that Chicago, and the rest of the world, should prepare for an Amazon overload.

Where can I see for myself?

Amazon Go, 144 S Clark St, Suite 100, Chicago, IL

Amazon Go, 113 S Franklin St, Chicago, IL

Amazon Pop-up, Water Tower Place, 835 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL