Philadelphia officials say Amazon has warned that a proposed ban on cashless stores would impact plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in the city.
The City Council approved a bill Thursday that would prohibit most stores from refusing to take cash as payment. Proponents argue that cashless stores discriminate against low-income residents who don't have credit or debit cards.
Councilman Allan Domb says Amazon told the city that if the bill passed, it would not consider locating an Amazon Go cashier-less convenience store in Philadelphia. City spokesman Mike Dunn confirmed Amazon told the city the legislation would "impede" plans for a Go store.
According to Philadelphia Commerce Department spokeswoman Lauren Cox, Amazon expressed concerns about the bill to the department. Councilman William Greenlee tried to sway the company by adding certain exclusions to the bill, but Amazon and its legal counsel felt that the language would not be applicable to their business model, Cox said.
Amazon declined comment.
The online giant abandoned plans on Thursday to locate a second headquarters in New York City amid opposition from activists and politicians.