Some lucky suburbanites will soon be able to experience the thrill of taking a something off the shelf and walking out of the store with it without getting arrested -- so long as they're an Amazon.com customer.
Amazon (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report on Tuesday revealed plans to expand its cashier-less Amazon Go stores to the suburbs, with the first one set to open in Mill Creek, Washington. Amazon also plans to open a second Go store in the Los Angeles area, the company said.
Like other Amazon Go stores, the location will use technology that allows customers to make purchases without ever interacting with a cashier. Using the Amazon app, you scan to enter, then pick your items, which are automatically charged through the app.
The technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. You get the receipt later on your Amazon account.
"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," Amazon said in the statement.
Drive Up, Grab and Go
Amazon already has Amazon Go stores in four states, mostly in downtown metropolitan areas including Seattle, New York City, Chicago and San Francisco where foot traffic is generally higher.
Now, the concept is expanding to the 'burbs. Amazon said the new suburban Go stores will offer snacks, everyday essentials, beverages and grab-and-go food items.
The announcement follows on the heels of other recent moves by the e-commerce behemoth to disrupt the world of retail both virtually and physically.
Amazon last week announced plans to open Amazon Style, its first clothing, shoe and accessories' store, later this year at a tony, upscale shopping complex in Los Angeles.
For its part, Amazon sees a solid business case for opening physical stores that sell clothes - something it alluded to in its most recent earnings call with analysts and investors.
Amazon Likes the 'Hybrid Model'
"We've said that we want options for customers to be able to shop online and in store," Dave Fildes, Amazon's Director of Investor Relations, said on the call, adding that the company likes the "hybrid model," and that its continues to focus on "...a lot of sort of interesting in-store experiences that will resonate with customers."
In 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods' 471 stores for $13.7 billion. The company also has dozens of 4-Star stores, where it sells its highest-rated merchandise. It's also building a new, separate line of grocery stores called Amazon Fresh.
Last November, the e-commerce giant introduced a new concept store with Starbucks (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report, combining its Just Walk Out shopping tech with Starbucks pickup to let consumers pick up their lattes and fraps cashier-free.
Shares of Amazon were up 1.83% at $2,838 in premarket trading. Year to date they are down 15.18%.