Amazon Go, the mega retailer’s cashierless store, already has half a dozen locations either open or in the works – including one coming to New York City.
Thor Equities president and CEO Joe Sitt thinks that over the next decade the company could have 200 times as many locations.
“Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that they’ll have at least 500, probably over 1,000 stores within 10 years from today,” Sitt predicted Monday inside the ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at the Time Warner Center, where he gave the morning keynote at Columbia University’s real estate development conference.
Amazon on Tuesday confirmed it plans to open one of its Amazon Go stores in the city, but declined to provide the location. The company has opened three stores in Seattle, and has others planned for San Francisco and Chicago – another city where Sitt has major retail holdings.
The Thor Equities chief said he reads PitchBook.com and Fortune magazine’s Term Sheet blog every day to find out where investors are placing money, which he said is the “hyper fuel” driving change in retail.
“It’s the venture capital community and the dollars that are chasing it,” he said.
In addition to retail companies, the venture capital world is spending billions on real estate tech companies, as The Real Deal reported for its August cover story. VC companies invested $5.7 billion in proptech firms last year, compared to just $44.7 million in 2012.