Each Amazon Go store I visited in NYC offered something unique, and it made me realise that various retailers should be worried

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We found that Amazon Go has something for everyone, making it a looming threat to many different types of retailers. Joey Hadden/Business Insider
  • Amazon Go is a grocery store concept by Amazon that doesn’t have any checkout lines.
  • While you shop, sensors monitor which items you take off and put back on the shelves. Once you leave the store, the credit card you have on file in your Amazon or Amazon Go app is automatically charged for the items you’ve chosen, and a receipt with the items you purchased is sent to your phone.
  • Amazon has 18 store locations across major cities including Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York, with plans to open more stores across the country.
  • There are six Amazon Go store locations in New York City, and I visited four of them to see how they each compared.
  • I visited two Amazon Go locations at One Liberty and Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan and two locations in midtown, which were located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and the Chrysler Building.
  • I found that each Amazon Go store offers something unique for its customers, and various retailers, from smaller convenience stores to full grocery stores, should be on high alert.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Amazon Go is the company’s grab-and-go store concept that is shaking up convenience and grocery stores.

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Amazon go is a new shopping experience. AP/Elaine Thompson

The premise of the store is that there is no checkout line.

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You simply walk out after shopping. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

Customers simply scan the barcode on their Amazon or Amazon Go app to enter the store. From there, sensors monitor which items you’re picking off the shelves.

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You scan your smartphone barcode to enter. AP/Elaine Thompson

Source: Business Insider


As you exit the store, you get a receipt confirming what you purchased and how much you spent.

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A receipt is emailed to you. Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Source: Business Insider


There are 18 stores across Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York, six of which are in Manhattan. And more stores are slated to open in the future.

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Amazon Go has six locations in Manhattan. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Source: Amazon


I decided to venture off to a few of Amazon Go’s New York City stores to compare what each offered. My plan of action was to visit four out of the six stores in different parts of Manhattan.

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The different Amazon Go locations throughout New York City. Google Maps

Analysts estimate that Amazon Go stores could bring in $US1.5 million for the company each year.

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Source: Business Insider


And based on my experience in each store I visited, I’m not surprised. Depending on the location and space of the store, each Amazon Go store seems to offer something different for its consumers.

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Each store has something a little different on its shelves. Stephen Brashear/Getty

With its estimated sales and more locations popping up all over, I think Amazon Go could give various retailers, from major grocers to smaller convenience stores, a run for their money.

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My first stop was the One Liberty location, which conveniently was attached to my work building. The footprint of this location felt small.

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The outside of One Liberty location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This store offers 12 different categories of groceries, including dairy items, dips, frozen meals, according to the Amazon Go app. The app also specifies how much the store carries of each category.

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There are 12 grocery categories at this location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

Having never stepped foot in an Amazon Go store before, I was expecting more of a grocery store, but this location seemed more like a fancy 7-Eleven to me.

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The offerings were like a bodega. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

There was a large seating area in this location with a few tables for customers to sit and sip their coffee or enjoy their lunch, as well as a counter and chairs along the window. This area seemed large in comparison to the rest of the store.

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The seating area was large for the store. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The shelves were mostly made up of ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads that are perfect for a grab-and-go lunch.

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A prepared sandwich. Fabiana Buontempo

Grilled chicken was a popular menu item.

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Grilled chicken was an offering at this location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The frozen section also offered a variety of burritos that you could nuke in your office microwave.

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Frozen burritos were in the freezer section. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

There was a soda machine that had a touch screen with countless drink options…

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The soda machine had countless options. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

…and a Starbucks coffee counter with an automated machine to make fancy drinks.

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The coffee counter at Amazon Go. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

More typical grocery store items were scant at this location, though I found some dry foods like granola and cereal.

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This location carried cereal and granola. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

My next stop was the Brookfield Place location, just a few short blocks away from the One Liberty store.

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The outside of Amazon Go’s Brookfield location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

Source: Supermarket News


The Brookfield location seemed to be more spacious than the One Liberty location, and, according to the Amazon Go app, it offers 24 grocery categories, double that of the One Liberty location.

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24 categories at this store. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The Brookfield Amazon Go offered a decent, though not exhaustive, selection of items in each category, and based on its offerings, it felt more like a neighbourhood grocery store like Trader Joe’s than the One Liberty location.

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Orange juice, iced tea, iced coffee were on the shelves. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The specialty snacks this store had, such as PB & J bites, reminded me of the sort of snacks Trader Joe’s would carry.

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Fun snacks were on the shelves. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

It offered grocery items such as spinach, butter, snap peas, spring mix…

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Grocery items included spring mix and spinach. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

…condiments like peanut butter, jelly, and a stocked shelf of bread.

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Staples such as bread and butter were offered here. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This location also had meat items such as Wagyu meat, beef patties, and NY strip steak on the shelves.

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Wagyu meat would make for a tasty dinner. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I could easily see myself picking up some spring mix and beef patties to make a quick dinner.

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I would buy these beef patties. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I also liked the one-pan dish offerings, such as this Korean BBQ style chicken. According to the instructions, you cook the entire meal in one pan for a quick and simple dinner.

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This one pan dish makes for an easy dinner. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The snack area even had some fancy chocolates.

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This location offered yummy chocolate treats. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The Brookfield location didn’t have a coffee counter or anywhere to sit and eat, but it had this small area with microwaves and utensils. It seemed that this location focused more on the food items than providing a space to eat compared to the One Liberty location.

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This location didn’t have a seating area. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The next Amazon Go store on my list was the 30 Rockefeller Plaza location. This location was a bit trickier to find than the others because it was inside. Once at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, you need to take the outside elevator down to the concourse level to access this store.

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The 30 Rock location was pretty empty. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This midtown location felt like it had a bigger footprint than the other two stores, though it only had 18 grocery categories.

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This location reminded me of a regular grocery store with more variety per food category. It didn’t have any fancy meats like the Brookfield location, but it did have essential food items to make a meal.

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One of the aisles at this Amazon Go store. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

At this location, whole strawberries and large containers of yogurt were on the shelves.

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Strawberries were sold at this location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

There were multiple shelves of coffee drinks, possibly making up for the lack of coffee counter like the one at the One Liberty store.

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The options for iced coffee were endless. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I found shelves filled with foods such as ravioli, pesto sauce, and an assortment of cheeses.

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Pasta was on the shelf at this location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I even found a decent assortment of cheeses like mozzarella, gruyere, and goat cheese.

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Shelves of cheese. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The 30 Rockefeller Plaza location had more of a variety of prepared lunch items such as lemon peppered tuna compared to the other locations that had basic sandwiches and salads.

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One of the prepared meals. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

The last Amazon Go location on my journey was the Chrysler Building location.

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This store was located at the bottom of the Chrysler Building. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

With all the scaffolding outside of it, the Amazon Go sign was mostly hidden until you got closer.

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I couldn’t find the entrance at first. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I was excited to see all the goodies this location had because this Amazon Go appeared to be the largest store in size compared to the other ones I visited.

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Amazon Go’s Chrysler building location. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

On the app, it said this store had 18 different grocery categories.

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This was one of the largest stores. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

Unlike the other stores, this location had a decent selection of nonfood items including household supplies and stationery, which reminded me of a Target store.

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The aisles were not that unique. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I was impressed by the assortment of household goods such as toilet paper, deodorant, paper towels, tissues, garbage bags, and Mrs. Meyer’s cleaner.

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Some of the household goods this store offered. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This store even sold birthday cards.

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This location had birthday cards. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This midtown location also had a shelf filled with Amazon chocolate.

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A shelf of mostly Amazon labelled chocolate. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

Items such as butter, eggs, and almond milk were in the refrigerator section, but that was about the extent of the grocery items.

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The dairy options on the shelf. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

When it came to the snack and lunch options, the store offered a variety of boxes filled with fruit and cheeses, in addition to prepared sandwiches and salads.

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Some of the snack and lunch options. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

This location also had a coffee bar, the same as the One Liberty location…

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The coffee bar was identical to the one at One Liberty. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

…and a spacious area to sit and eat.

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The large seating area. Fabiana Buontempo/Business Insider

I learned from this experience that, since each Amazon Go store has different offerings, planning ahead is key.

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Not every store is the same. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Whether you’re planning on grabbing a salad for lunch or shopping to make dinner, checking out each store’s grocery options on the Amazon Go app first is helpful.

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Planning in advance is key. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

Overall I was impressed by the diversity of items offered at the different Amazon Go locations, and I could see each one catering to different types of shoppers.

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Each store had something different. Shoshy Ciment/Business Insider

The Amazon Go stores seem to be a hit with shoppers so far, as the stores have already proved to have returning customers across the country.

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People lining up outside an Amazon Go location. Shutterstock/PeterVandenbelt

Source: Business Insider


Amazon is clearly pushing boundaries with these new stores, making it a looming threat to many different types of retailers.

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Source: Business Insider