You should never bet against Amazon, unless you're a masochist, which I am not. So, I'm going to predict that the newly-announced Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores will be wildly successful when they are rolled out, beginning with the first store in Seattle in early 2017. I also expect that these stores–there may be up to 2,000 stores ultimately, coast-to-coast–will be customer experience trendsetters, not only in convenience stores and groceries, but elsewhere in retail and in other industries as well. We don't know many details yet of the Amazon Go model, except that it's designed so customers will be able to enter the store, purchase items, and exit entirely without employee intervention. After you're registered automatically via your smartphone as you enter, you can take items off the shelf, put them in your shopping basket, change your mind and re-shelf them, grab more items, and ultimately walk out the door, at which point your purchase will be calculated accurately and charged to your phone/card account.
Amazon on Monday announced it will now offer its cashierless store technology, called "Just Walk Out," to other retailers. The technology uses a combination of cameras, sensors, computer vision techniques and deep learning to allow customers to shop, then leave the store without waiting in line to pay. This is the same technology that today powers the Amazon Go cashierless convenience stores and Amazon's newly launched Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle. Reuters first reported the news just ahead of Amazon's official announcement, adding also that Amazon says it has signed "several" deals with initial customers interested in using Just Walk Out in their own stores. Amazon did not say who those customers are, however.
Cashierless store Zippin will open its doors to customers in San Francisco for the first time this week, beating Amazon Go to become the first cashierless store in the city. The first Go store opened in Seattle in January. New cashierless stores from Amazon are scheduled to be opened in San Francisco and Chicago, Amazon announced in May. An Amazon spokesperson asked for details about when additional Go stores will open had not responded at the time this story was published. As with Amazon Go and competitors like Inokyo, which opened a cashierless store in Mountain View, California last week, to shop at the Zippin store you must first download an app that gives you a QR code and then scan the code when you enter the store.
Amazon is set to test its cashier-less checkouts in bigger stores, according to the latest report. The firm is already testing the Amazon Go system in small convenience stores which are less than 2,500 square feet (232 square metres) large in Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago. However, reports suggest the firm would like to start implementing the checkout-free system in Whole Foods stores, which are typically 40,000 square feet (3,700 square metres) large. In September it was revealed Amazon was looking to open 3,000 of its cashier-less stores by 2021. Amazon is set to test its cashier-less checkouts in bigger stores, according to the latest report (file photo).
Amazon's checkout-free convenience store is coming to the Windy City. The fourth Amazon Go location, and the first outside of Seattle, opens in Chicago on September 17th. Located on 113 S Franklin St, the store opens at 7am and closes at 8PM, Monday through Friday. Weekend warriors looking to experience the delights of Amazon Go are out of luck, however, as it's closed Saturday and Sunday. The first Go store opened on January 22nd, after the company worked to iron out the kinks in its retail model.