Amazon is one of the more ambitious retail giants of this generation. Even more so now with the company’s unveiling of Amazon Go: a retail store that sells foods, snacks, lunch items, and groceries. There’s nothing special about a 7Eleven-type of convenience store. However what Amazon has in mind for this store is much bigger.
The store would completely eliminate the role of cashiers. Rather, the store will rely on “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning.” This technology application was referred to by Amazon as ‘Just Walk Out’ technology and it can automatically detect when products are taken from or returned to shelves. Then when you’re done shopping, just walk out (see what I did there?).
So how does it work? You scan into the store with an Amazon Go app that ties your presence to an Amazon account. Then you walk in and shop, as you walk out, the store knows what items you took with you and you’ll automatically be charged the amount to your account on the app.
A report from the Wall Street Journal details Amazon’s ambitious (and alleged) amount of 2,000 grocery and convenience stores across the US. The ultimate goal for Amazon is to take its robust infrastructure of distribution and the products all the way to the consumer without any middle man. This type of infrastructure would directly rival other stores like Target, Walmart, and convenience stores.
The same report mentions possible formats for the stores: Fresh foods and grocery (as detailed in the video above), convenience stores, and two formats that are up for consideration including: a small drive-thru store and the other is a large, Euro-style discount chain of stores.
From online to brick and mortar, Amazon is finally expanding to physical store locations after all these years with the first store already open to employees in the Beta program in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, WA. The store will open to the public in early 2017. What do you think of this new store format with no cashiers?