Amazon opens full-size cashierless grocery store
Amazon has opened a full-size grocery store that will have no cashiers.
Jeffrey Dastin had the news for Reuters:
Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) is bringing its cashier-less store technology to a larger stage.
The world’s biggest online retailer on Tuesday is set to open ‘Amazon Go Grocery,’ a store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill with four times the shopping space as the first cashier-less location it opened to the public in January 2018. The concept targets customers in residential neighborhoods rather than office workers, whom the smaller Amazon Go convenience stores serve.
The new format reflects Amazon’s ambitions to capture more of shoppers’ weekly spend through groceries, increasing competition with national players Kroger (KR.N), Albertsons and others. The company, once famous for selling books online, was long rumored to be working on a new chain of physical grocery stores that would cater to a more diverse set of tastes than up-market Whole Foods, which it acquired in 2017.
As with Amazon’s convenience stores, customers scan an ‘Amazon Go’ smartphone app on a gated turnstile to enter and start shopping. Hundreds of ceiling cameras and shelf weight censors ascertain what customers add to their carts, and their on-file credit cards are billed once they leave the store – no cashiers or checkout lines necessary.
Jason Del Rey wrote for Vox:
Two years ago, Amazon introduced the idea of high-tech, cashierless shopping with a store that was a cross between a 7-Eleven and a Pret A Manger sandwich shop. Now, Amazon is bringing the same concept to a full-size supermarket.
On Tuesday, Amazon will open the doors to a 10,000-square-foot Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, less than a mile from the tech giant’s downtown Seattle headquarters. It’ll be stocked with 5,000 different products — from organic fruit to grass-fed beef — and outfitted with cameras, sensors, and computer vision that eliminate the need for shoppers to fork over cash or plastic before walking out the door with their groceries.
The new store, which is the first of its kind in the US, highlights Amazon’s unsated appetite for gobbling up market share in the $900 billion US grocery industry, even after spending nearly $14 billion in 2017 to acquire Whole Foods and making same-day grocery delivery a free perk for Prime members last year. At the same time, the expansion of the cashierless store concept raises the question of when — not if — the technology will be ready for installation in Whole Foods stores, and what might happen to the chain’s thousands of cashiers when it is.
The Verge’s Nick Statt reported:
Amazon Go stores use overhead cameras and computer vision technology, paired with smartphone geofencing, to track both shoppers and items throughout the store. That way, the system can identify when a specific person has picked something off the shelf and placed it in their cart, and even when they decided to put something back.
The end result is that customers don’t have to sit through check out. When you’re done at a Go store, you just walk out and your receipt is sent to you through Amazon’s companion app. The same is true of Amazon’s new grocery store, which features shopping carts, but no checkout lanes or counters.
Amazon says its Go system has been trained to handle tricky situations that are unique to grocery stores, like customers handling unpackaged produce that looks similar and sits next to other fruits and vegetables or unboxed baked goods that might get stuffed into a single plastic bag. You can even buy alcohol by taking it off the shelf and walking out, although a human employee will have to check your ID before you enter the store if you intend to peruse the libations aisle.