"We see Amazon as having to invest between $0.5 billion and $3 billion in building these 3,000 stores", analysts led by Brian Nowak wrote Thursday.
That huge number of stores would make Amazon Go one of the largest retail chains in the country, and the third-largest chain of convenience stores by number of stores.
Amazon Go threatens traditional convenience store companies like 7-Eleven, as well as chain fast food sandwich and lunch chains like Subway. Sensors and computer-vision technology detect what shoppers take and bills them automatically, eliminating checkout lines. Amazon now operates four such stores, three in Seattle and one in Chicago, and these are being used as trial-runs for a larger scale expansion of the business.
An Amazon representative told Business Insider the company does not comment on "rumours or speculation".
Shares of USA supermarket chains Kroger Co (KR.N) and Target Corp (TGT.N) fell between 1 and 2 percent following the news. Some of the shops only offer a limited selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks, while others have a small selection of groceries, making it more akin to a convenience store. The shares rose about 1 percent to $1,942.82 at 10:41 a.m.in NY.
Amazon Go is the most distinctive of all of its physical stores.
"Amazon needs to figure out how to grow this", said Soper, "but limit the cost because the cost of this technology is extremely expensive right now and so by narrowing the focus on simply prepared food, they can keep the cost down and expand more quickly". The first is on Amazon's campus in Seattle.
According to people familiar with the matter, the company could have 10 locations running by the end of the year and as many as 50 in 2019. Some of the most recent Amazon Go locations feature only the prepared-food section without a grocery selection. A fourth AmazonGo opened Monday in Chicago and there are plans to open a fifth in New York City.
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