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The Chicago Tribune reports that Amazon has chosen two locations in Chicago - “in Chicago’s tallest building, Willis Tower, and in an office building connected to Ogilvie Transportation Center” - for its Amazon Go checkout-free format, which is in the process of a slow expansion beyond the original Seattle location.

According to the story, “There are about 25,000 office workers and tourists in Willis Tower each day, providing a ready market for grab-and-go meals and drinks. The number of visitors could increase after the 110-story building’s owner, New York-based Blackstone Group, completes a $500 million upgrade that will add a large base with new retail and entertainment spaces on the tower’s lower floors. Blackstone also is expected to add to the offerings in its Skydeck tourist attraction on upper floors of the 1,451-foot-tall skyscraper.

“Amazon Go’s other leased space in Chicago is beneath a 40-story office tower at 500 W. Madison St. Lower levels of the property, owned by a fund of Newport Beach, Calif.-based KBS Realty Advisors, form a retail concourse around commuter trains at Ogilvie.”

Amazon has not confirmed the locations to the Tribune.

An Amazon Go store also is slated to be built in San Francisco, reportedly in Union Square, but Amazon hasn’t confirmed that location, either.

The Tribune story says that Amazon “has been looking for spaces in other cities too, including Los Angeles.”
KC's View:
The expectation here is that if Amazon Go stores are properly located, they’ll be big successes.

I still think that we’re going to see the technology applied to other retail categories - like Amazon Books - and that it won’t be too long before we see it integrated to some extent in either a Whole Foods store or a 365 by Whole Foods store. That would be a big swing for Amazon, but that’s what Bezos encourages … big swings that can make a big difference.