- Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in January 2018. The cashierless store of the future is changing the game for prepared food and convenience stores.
- Though there are currently only 13 Amazon Go locations in the US, the e-commerce giant reportedly has plans to open 3,000 more stores within a few years, which could threaten other convenience store chains like 7-Eleven.
- We visited a 7-Eleven and an Amazon Go store to see how Amazon leverages assets in its convenience stores and saw why other retailers in this sector should be wary of the fresh competition.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
When the e-commerce giant announced its decision to open a new chain of prepared food and convenience stores in 2016, it was hardly a surprise.
Amazon Go is Amazon’s convenience store of the future. It’s another example of the company’s push into brick-and-mortar retail, and it’s infused with technology.
Amazon Go is threatening other convenience stores with its ability to leverage consumer data from its online database to better cater to the wants of its customers. There are only 13 Amazon Go locations in the US currently, but the company reportedly has plans to open 3,000 stores by 2021.
A footprint of that size could threaten other convenience-store chains in the US.
With at least 60,000 stores across the globe, 7-Eleven is likely one of Amazon Go’s worthiest competitors. We visited a 7-Eleven and an Amazon Go store to see which offered a better convenience-store experience.
Amazon Go’s cashierless and technology-infused store was easy to navigate and therefore vastly superior to 7-Eleven. See what it was like to visit both:
First, we stopped by a 7-Eleven in Manhattan’s Financial District, a prime location for city and office dwellers to pick up convenience store essentials.
As expected for a store located in the middle of the city, the interior was small and narrow.
The front of the store had baskets for shoppers to store their items while they shopped.
We stopped by the coffee counter at the front of the store and were unimpressed with the messy appearance of the station. Many of the sugars and syrups were slightly open and seemed out of place and disorganized.
Despite the mess, there were multiple options for hot or cold coffee with basic flavour options including hazelnut and French vanilla.
Near the coffee, a sticker reminded customers to download the 7-Eleven app to reap the best rewards while shopping.
There was also a large selection of food on display. The bakery section was packed with doughnuts, croissants, and rolls.
The meal options were varied and included pizza and chicken wings. For the most part, the hot food had a “fast-food” quality to it and didn’t seem like the healthiest choice. However, the prices were pretty low.
You could pick up five traditional wings for just $US4.
The condiments section offered free chilli and cheese but was otherwise pretty scant. There was ketchup and mustard, but on the whole it was far from impressive and somewhat messy.
After some digging, we did find a few healthy options on the shelves. This 7-Eleven chicken salad sandwich was a fresh-looking option for a quick lunch — and it was only $US5.
We took a quick peek in the aisles in the back of the store and saw that the shelves were fully stocked and filled with convenience store snack essentials.
The snacking possibilities were endless — unless you were looking for something healthy, that is. Those options were more limited.
Though it wasn’t attached to a gas station, the store still carried that “quick-stop” atmosphere. We found a shelf that was practically exploding with beef jerky.
The store also seemed to carry a random assortment of items. We found this rack full of cheap wine product …
… as well as this small section of napkins and paper towels.
We made our way to the famous 7-Eleven Slurpee station to get our sugar fix for the day, because no stop to 7-Eleven is complete without a massive brain freeze. The manager told us that Slurpees are the most popular purchase in the store.
We tried the Coca-Cola flavour, and it was delicious and clearly the best part of the 7-Eleven experience. Otherwise, the location was rather ordinary and in some cases, in need of a cleanup.
Next, we stopped by the Amazon Go store in the Brookfield Place mall near the World Trade Center.
This store opened on May 7 and was the first Amazon Go to open in New York City.
Source: Supermarket News