PHOTO GALLERY: Going Inside Chicago's Amazon Go

Amazon Go Chicago enter sign

CHICAGO — The winds of change for brick-and-mortar retail continue to blow, as Amazon Go makes its way to the Windy City.

E-commerce giant Amazon Inc. opened the doors to its fourth cashierless Amazon Go store in Chicago on Sept. 17. Located at 113 S. Franklin St., it is the company's first Amazon Go outside of its hometown of Seattle, and sits on the first floor of the complex where Amazon’s Chicago's office is located.

Chicago's Amazon Go offers a product mix of pre-made sandwiches, salads and snacks, in addition to traditional convenience store fare. Some items are prepared by Amazon offsite and by local companies, like Fairgrounds, Farmer's Fridge and I Love Sweets, and delivered daily.

While hot prepared food is not available, the store offers ready-to-heat items and two on-site microwaves. It also sells two-person meal kits to take home.

Similar to the other three Amazon Go locations, customers scan the Amazon app on their smartphones upon entering the store. The store uses "just walk out" technology, which relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from shelves and what they put back. Customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file.

Bill Schober, editorial director of Convenience Store News sister publication Shopper Marketing, recently visited Chicago's Amazon Go. Click on the images below to go inside the cashierless concept.

Some of the observations Schober made about the store include:

  • There is plenty of navigational signage.
  • Employees were re-stocking items nonstop.
  • "So Good It"s Gone" shelf-edge signage signifies an out-of-stock item. As merchandise is taken away, a traditional POP device (a constant-force-spring "pusher" sign) comes forward.
  • The store features a shopping bag kiosk and an endcap full of Amazon-branded knickknacks.

Amazon opened the first Amazon Go in Seattle in January, followed by a second and third that opened within a week of each other earlier this month in the Emerald City.

The company is looking to bring the checkout-free concept to San Francisco and Los Angeles, as Convenience Store News previously reported.

The e-commerce giant also announced the possibility of opening as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021. Specifically, the company is considering plans to have about 10 locations open by the end of this year; about 50 locations in major metropolitan areas in 2019; and as many as 3,000 by 2021.

Convenience Store News and Shopper Marketing are properties of EnsembleIQ.