Business

Amazon opens cashless supermarket and takes the format to a new level

The new Go Grocery is four times bigger than previous convenience shops already using the technology

Amazon Go technology allows customers to take products from the shelves and walk out without facing lines. Photo: Shutterstock
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  • Shoppers are able to take food off the shelves and just walk out. Amazon’s technology charges customers after they leave;
  • The store shows that Amazon is serious about expanding its physical presence.

E-commerce giant Amazon brought its concept of cashier-less stores to a new level, as it opened Amazon Go Grocery in Seattle this Tuesday. The new shop is a supermarket, with four times the shopping space as the first cashier-less store Amazon presented in January 2018. 

According to the company, the new format targets customers in residential neighborhoods rather than office workers, whom the smaller Amazon Go convenience stores serve.

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The new Amazon Go Grocery reflects the digital retailer’s ambition to capture more of shoppers’ spend in the segment, increasing competition with physical players. Shoppers are able to take food off the shelves and just walk out. Amazon’s technology charges customers after they leave. 

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. In order to shop, customers must have a smartphone with the Amazon Go app. This process is mimicked in the roughly two dozen other smaller Amazon Go locations nationwide.

The store shows that Amazon is serious about expanding its physical presence. It has opened more than a dozen bookstores and bought Whole Foods upmarket chain in 2017.

International expansion

When it debuted its first cashless store, Amazon declared it planned to open up to 3,000 of them until 2021, but the expansion has been much slower. For now, there are only two dozen operations focused in the US market. Bloomberg reported that the company studies licensing the technology to other grocery and retail chains, but nothing has been made official yet.