Amazon.com is bringing its cashier-less store know-how to a larger stage.
The world’s biggest online retail platform is set to open ‘Amazon Go Grocery,’ a store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill with four times the shopping area as the primary cashier-less location it opened to the public in January 2018. The concept targets customers in residential neighborhoods rather than workplace workers, whom the smaller Amazon Go convenience stores serve.
The new format reflects Amazon’s ambitions to seize more of shoppers’ weekly spend via groceries, rising competitors with nationwide gamers Kroger, Albertsons and others. The corporation, once well-known for selling books online, was long rumored to be engaged on a new chain of physical grocery stores that might cater to a more diverse set of tastes than up-market Whole Foods, which it bought in 2017.
As with Amazon’s convenience stores, purchasers scan an ‘Amazon Go’ smartphone app on a gated turnstile to enter and start purchasing. Hundreds of ceiling cameras and shelf weight censors verify 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.
If a customer keeps a product back on the shelf, Amazon removes the product from his or her virtual basket.
That was a major technical problem to deal with in the new format, which incorporates produce priced per item from Whole Foods’ suppliers, in addition to baked goods, fresh meat, and seafood.