Amazon Go Moves to the Suburbs
Amazon Go is growing beyond its traditional urban footprint, ushering in a new era for the high-tech, physical convenience stores with the opening Tuesday of the company’s first suburban location.
The store in Mill Creek, Wash., about 25 miles north of Seattle, takes Go and its cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology away from the office buildings and familiar downtown settings and puts the format on a busy roadway dotted with gas station mini-marts and shopping plazas.
The move not only brings with it a change of scenery, but a bigger store footprint with expanded food and beverage offerings and related services.
Unlike its traditional urban locations, this Amazon Go store does not sit at the base of a downtown office tower.
While convenience is still key, and Just Walk Out provides the same speedy ability to grab items, pay and leave without standing in a checkout line, Amazon believes customer needs will be different at this type of location.
The expanded footprint of the store — 6,150 total square feet and 3,240 square feet for front of house — is the biggest Go yet and allows for more food and drink offerings. There’s a self-serve Starbucks coffee and espresso bar; nitro cold brew and Kombucha on tap; and the first location in the state of Washington to offer Pinkberry frozen yogurt.
Central to the suburban format is a made-to-order kitchen and sandwich counter that is new to Amazon Go. Here, customers can order from 30 menu items including sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, salads, wraps, and more on the spot. At other Go locations, some meals are made in-house, but that food is wrapped and sold from display cases.
Sandwiches made fresh in minutes. Tablets are used at one of two kiosks to scroll the menu, build a sandwich and place orders. It takes mere minutes to get my sandwich in an empty store. Some may still crave human contact, but Amazon seems to be betting on speed over human interaction.