Seattle's Amazon Go Opens as Retailer's First Cashierless Convenience Store
SEATTLE, WA - The much awaited opening of Amazon’s cashierless convenience store, Amazon Go, has finally arrived. The company publicly opened the doors to its first camera and sensor-filled store on Monday in Seattle, Washington, to crowds curious about the experience. According to USA Today, Amazon employees were on site to hand out vibrant orange Amazon Go shopping bags, and check to make sure visitors had the Amazon Go app correctly downloaded and the QR code up on their screens.
This shift in retail and technology has been building in recent years, with Amazon helping to lead the charge for consumers and retailers alike. With the store in a testing phase for the past year or so, this debut has had many wondering if the concept will be as successful as it is promising. While in its beta phase, and only open to Amazon employees, the company had the time to fine-tune its arrangement of technology to ensure that customers would be charged correctly for what they took off the shelf in the store.
According to an article in The Seattle Times, the store requires shoppers to scan their smartphones on the way in, and they are then tracked with cameras and other sensors as they browse. When an item is taken off the shelf, it is added to a virtual cart. Groceries are charged to the customer’s Amazon account when they depart.
The 1,800-square-foot convenience store concept, which Amazon has coined “Just Walk Out” shopping, could be another successful step in Amazon’s high-tech impact on physical retail spaces.
Gianna Puerini, Amazon’s Vice President who oversees Amazon Go, said in an interview included in the Seattle Times that the aim is for the store’s prices to be competitive with other markets.
“It takes selection, price, and convenience,” Puerini said. “I think we’re delivering on all three.”
Amazon Go boasts a wide variety of food offerings as well as a high-end assortment of items that include chilled beverages, sweets, snacks, ready-made salads and sandwiches, frozen foods, and meal kits, USA Today notes.
As we previously reported back in November, it is unclear how quickly, and in what way, Amazon plans to ramp up its Amazon Go efforts—noting that since introducing a similar brick-and-mortar bookstore format two years ago, the company has only introduced 13 locations.
Could this cashierless technology make its way into Whole Foods locations and how will this new venture further impact the retail and convenience space? Stay tuned to AndNowUKnow for the latest and greatest on Amazon’s retail evolution.