Amazon is considering a plan to open up to 3000 cashless, cashierless convenience stores and could spend as much as $2 or $3 Billion dollars to do so says, Morgan Stanley. While a drop in the bucket for Amazon and it’s overall expense budgets this could be a driver of new rentals for CRE companies around the country. The technology to do all this is complicated and costs much more than opening a traditional convenience store but based on projections, could bring in much more than the stores we know today. What can landlords do to prepare for this wave of new locations? Bone up on your technical prowess and get ready to talk tech.
These stores will need to be connected to the state of the art fiber networks to carry all the data that goes with a store that charges your phone with sensors and cameras. Connectivity is king here as all this equipment is connected wirelessly and any loss of the wireless connection can be catastrophic to the business. This is not your Dad’s 7-11 store- it’s a high tech, low touch opportunity for the new world brick and mortar retailer Amazon(remember Whole Foods folks) to wring more dollars from its clients. CRE leaders need to get on the bandwagon with this trend because once Amazon leads many others will follow. Once the technology is proven (no one is quite sure yet if all this works perfectly) there may be tens of thousands of these stores springing up.
How can landlords best prepare for this brave new world? Make sure your teams include people who understand connectivity, cybersecurity, sensor technology and how to encourage new clients to think about your space. Prepare for the day when your tenant may not be human.