U.S.: Amazon opens first cashierless store
Following pushes for expansion in its technology driven grocery models, Amazon rolled out its first checkout-free large grocery store in Seattle on Tuesday.
The online retailer's store is a place where shoppers can scan a smartphone app to enter the store, grab what they want and go. Using a system of camera, shelf sensors and worry-free software, the retail makes it easy for fast, streamlined grocery shopping.
Shoppers simply get the bill automatically on their device after shopping.
Local WBRZ 2 quoted customer Art Kuniyuki saying that he "loves the convenience of literally grabbing and going".
The company's convenience store model Amazon Go has been opened in 25 locations across the U.S. for two years. This new store goes beyond the smaller scale of Go by providing customers with a wider variety of products and 10,400 square feet of space.
How, then, did the retailer adjust its technology to fit such a large space?
Amazon said the technology needed to be modified to account, for example, for how people pick up produce and touch it before buying it or move through things like avocados and apples to find the best one. Now, nothing is weighted and all produce goes for a single price.
Trendy nature of cashierless grocery
Not too long ago, Amazon's new store in Los Angeles was previewed by journalists - yet another grocery concept that the online retailer is jumping into.
David Bishop - partner at retail consultancy Brick Meets Click - also told WBRZ that "just walk out technology is kind of cool in theory" but that shoppers decide where to shop based upon other factors, too.
This makes it complicated to predict whether or not the company's new checkout-free store will be successful - though it seems like the popular thing to do in the grocery and convenience store world.
Competitors like Ahold Delhaize have caught on to Amazon's trendy tech-format stores will its roll-out of trail runs for its "Lunchbox" stores in Nov. 2019, among others. In early February, 7-Eleven announced it is testing a cashierless store.