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Amazon exec tells employees that Go stores will start accepting cash

Category: Finance,Retail

Philadelphia last month became the first major U.S. city to ban cashless stores despite Amazon's reported attempt to block the law. The state of New Jersey followed a couple weeks later, and cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago are considering similar laws. Massachusetts has had a law in place for decades requiring stores to accept cash.

Amazon Go, which opened to the public in 2018, has no cashiers or checkout lines. The stores automatically detect products that are bagged and they charge the customer upon exiting. Customers download a separate Amazon Go mobile app to shop at the stores, which offer an assortment of on-the-go type meals and snacks, as well as fresh produce.

RBC Capital Markets estimates that Amazon Go stores make a little less than $15 million a year in total, and would take two years to break even at the current pace.

"While not a significant financial contributor yet, we believe the overall opportunity is huge," RBC wrote in a note in January.

Welcoming people from different income brackets could contribute to that growth, and accepting SNAP benefits would potentially provide Amazon access to another multimillion-dollar market.


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