Whole Foods, for instance, started selling Amazon Echo smart speakers nearly immediately after the $13.4 billion acquisition of the grocery chain closed in August 2017.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.
Amazon opened its first cashierless store in Seattle two years ago and has launched two additional locations in Seattle and another in Chicago. Narrowing the focus to prepared food-to-go would reduce the upfront cost of opening each store, because it would require fewer cameras and sensors. These will provide freshly-prepared foodstuffs and a "limited grocery selection" to consumers, preferred by the affluent, urban crowd, who need only walk inside the store with a pre-installed Amazon Go app, grab the goods and walk out, to see the items charged to your account.
If Amazon's plans pan out, it could eventually become one of the largest chains in the US. In physical stores, Amazon is emphasising convenience over selection to win business.
Those companies had already been on notice for more than a year after Amazon bought its way into brick-and-mortar groceries with the $13.5 billion acquisition of more than 470 Whole Foods Market stores. However, with less staff and strictly dedicated to foodstuffs, which have a higher profitability than other retail goods, Amazon hopes to recoup the investment faster than your bog-standard food store.
At a Washington DC event last week, Bezos said Amazon was "very interested" in physical stores, but only if it has something new to offer.
"We have no plans to open 2,000 of anything", a spokesperson said a few days after the newspaper's story published. But it has pushed back on past reports that executives had given the green light to a major expansion of Go. Bezos is willing to lose money on long-term initiatives when he smells opportunity.
There are plans to open six more by the end of the year, and up to 50 stores in 2019.
The move comes as another corner of Amazon's vast empire is set to expand.
The fourth Amazon Go store just opened, but a new report claims a lot more could be on the horizon. Additionally, opening multiple stores in the same metro area could help minimize costs since they could in theory share a centralized food production facility. For reference, there are about 155,000 convenience stores across the country, and about 80 percent of those are combined with gas stations. Amazon is also planning to open one in NY. Shoppers rate location and a lack of lines as the most important factors when shopping for convenience, he said.