Amazon recently revealed a futuristic grocery store called Amazon Go, but the company denies rumored plans to open 2,000 physical stores.
Amazon Go is just one store for now, and it's still in its early beginnings. It's currently open only on a trial basis for Amazon employees and will open to the public in 2017.
The appeal of Amazon Go is that it will eliminate checkout lines and registers altogether, allowing shoppers to simply get what they need and walk out, relying on an app to do everything else.
Amazon Denies Plans To Open 2,000 Stores
As exciting as Amazon Go sounds, it's just one store in beta stage at this point. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Amazon envisioned more than 2,000 physical grocery stores, depending on how its trial goes. The WSJ also noted that Amazon was mulling over multiple potential physical store concepts, including a "larger, multiformat store" concept.
Amazon made no comment at that point, but on Thursday, Dec. 8, it issued a statement denying having such plans.
"[We have] no plans to open 2,000 of anything. Not even close. We are still learning," Amazon tells the WSJ.
The company also commented on the possibility of opening larger, multiformat stores, again saying that it has no such plans.
While Amazon refuted claims of opening more stores, the WSJ's sources stand by their statements. The WSJ contacted them again after Amazon denied the plans, and the sources familiar with the matter again confirmed that Amazon does envision a future with possibly 2,000 brick-and-mortar concepts, depending on how its test locations fare. One of the sources also reiterated that Amazon is indeed considering a larger-store format that would take as much as 30,000 to 40,000 square feet.
With such contradictory statements, it seems that either the journal's sources are misinformed, or Amazon is purposely denying such plans because it wants to keep quiet on the matter until it has a solid strategy laid out. This would allow the company to avoid creating too much hype if it's not sure it can live up to it, which would make sense considering that the Amazon Go grocery store is still in testing.
For now, Amazon Go is in closed beta in Seattle before opening its doors to the public next year. For more details on how the Amazon Go futuristic grocery store concept works, what products it offers, and what it sets out to do, check out our detailed coverage.