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Amazon Go — a cashierless version of 7-Eleven — is expanding to San Francisco and Chicago

Recode previously reported that the company planned to open up to six new locations this year.

Outside the Amazon Go cashierless convenience store in Seattle. Jason Del Rey / Recode
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Four months after Amazon opened its first futuristic convenience store in its hometown of Seattle, the company said on Monday that it will bring new Amazon Go locations to San Francisco and Chicago later this year.

The announcement came after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that an Amazon Go store may be coming to the city’s Union Square neighborhood. Amazon currently has job listings for store manager positions in both San Francisco and Chicago.

Recode reported in February that Amazon planned to open as many as six new Amazon Go storefronts in 2018, and that it had identified potential locations in Los Angeles and Seattle. At the time, it wasn’t clear if Amazon had lined up other cities, too.

The first Amazon Go store opened to the public in January to much fanfare, after a year of operation that was only open to employees. Outfitted with hundreds of cameras and sensors — but no cashiers — the store allows customers to grab sandwiches, drinks and other food off shelves and simply walk out without stopping to pay. Customers scan their phones on the way in and are automatically charged for their items after they exit. (Here’s a full photo tour of the Seattle store.)

The store is a foray by Amazon to grab more sales in the food and beverage categories, which are still dominated by brick-and-mortar sales. Experts believe that Amazon Go also provides the company with valuable customer data that can help its online business, and that the “Just Walk Out” technology could lead to higher spending, since customers don’t know their exact order total until after they’ve walked out (unless they want to do the math in their head).

At the same time, the Amazon Go concept has also come under scrutiny because of the lack of cashiers and what that technology means more broadly for one of the largest job roles in retail. Though Amazon Go doesn’t employ people who ring customers up on their way out, it does have workers preparing fresh food on site in a kitchen, as well as a greeter at the front and a person checking IDs in the alcohol section.

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