For some time now, Amazon has operated a number of cashier-less convenience stores under the Amazon Go brand. Now, it seems, it’s ready to take that concept and apply it to larger-scale stores, today opening up its first Amazon Go Grocery in Seattle. The concept is still the same – there are no cashiers to ring up your items and the store doesn’t accept cash – only the footprint is much larger.
These Amazon Go Grocery stores seem to strike something of a balance between the smaller Amazon Go stores and the company’s chain of Whole Foods stores. GeekWire says that this first store in Seattle has a footprint of 7,700 square feet, which is quite a bit larger than the 25 Amazon Go locations the company has already launched.
Instead of single-serve, packaged goods like you’d typically see at an Amazon Go store, GeekWire says that Amazon’s new store has more of what you’d expect to find at a standard grocery store: fresh produce and household essentials (including stuff for pets). There isn’t a meat counter or a bakery, but the store still sells meat, seafood, and baked goods that are shipped in throughout the week.
The main difference between Amazon’s store and a standard grocery store, of course, is that it’s run by automation and AI, with cameras tracking the items you pick up and put into your cart and then charging your Amazon account for the items you chose shortly after you leave the store. Before entering, you’ll need to scan a QR code on your smartphone, and since there’s no way for a transaction to happen on-site, it’s a matter of walking in, grabbing what you need, and walking out.
It seems that while Amazon Go stores were an experiment in going cashier-less, Amazon Go Grocery stores are an experiment in the accuracy of the company’s AI as it operates at a larger scale. At the moment, we don’t know what the company’s plans for the future of Amazon Go Grocery stores, but if this store in Seattle is a success, we’ll probably see Amazon open more stores in the future.