As reported by Forbes, shares of Amazon jumped 2.5% earlier this week when it opened the door on its first convenience store stocked with a ton of cutting-edge technology. That resulted in Bezos’ fortune increasing by $2.8 billion, giving him a net worth of $113.5 billion, based on Forbes' calculations.
His net worth is now at the highest level ever. Bezos—the owner of The Washington Post as well as the CEO of Amazon—also now has a big lead over Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, the second and third richest men in the world. Gates has a net worth of $92.5 billion while Buffett’s net worth stands at $92.3 billion, Forbes reported. What’s more, Forbes said Bezos is the wealthiest person since it began tracking the rich back in 1982. Much of Bezos wealth comes from his 16% stake in Amazon. (See also: How Jeff Bezos Got to Be the World's Richest Man.)
Bezos wealth got a lift thanks to Amazon Go, which is being well received by Wall Street and investors. The store, which was in development for five years, is located on the ground floor of Amazon’s new headquarters in Seattle and is stocked with technologies that remove the need for cashiers. Amazon Go customers can shop for a bevy of food items including pre-made salads and sandwiches, snacks, beer, wine and other beverages. Consumers can also purchase a selection of produce, meat and meal kits from the e-commerce giant. Customers first need to download the Amazon Go app, scan it upon entry and then just pick up what they want to buy. They don’t have to stop at a checkout counter or open their wallet to pay. Amazon Go employs sensors, cameras and a computer vision system to scan the items being purchased and then automatically charges them to the shopper’s Amazon account.
While investors are applauding the launch of the store and the use of technology to remove the need for cashiers—the store is still being staffed with kitchen workers and those checking ID for wine and beer—it could be harmful consumers. Since a consumer doesn’t have to whip out a credit card or cash to pay for their purchases, that could result in more impulse spending. That bodes well for Amazon in terms of sales but for shoppers who have a problem reining in spending it could result in more money wasted.