Walmart's membership-only retail warehouse chain is prepping to take on Amazon with the launch of a new concept store that has no cashiers or registers. A Sam's Club in Dallas, Texas is testing a new store format where shoppers use an app to buy groceries without the need to stand in a checkout line, according to CNBC. The concept closely mirrors Amazon Go, the cashier-less stores launched last year by the internet giant. A Sam's Club in Dallas, Texas is testing a new store format where shoppers use an app to buy groceries without the need to stand in a checkout line or deal with cashiers The 32,000-square-foot store is smaller than other Sam's Club locations and mostly features basic food items like produce, meat and alcohol. For now, it's rolling out for select customers, but the firm expects to expand soon, CNBC said.
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).
A checkout-free future might be closer than you think, thanks to startups like Standard Cognition. The San Francisco-based company, whose patented platform uses cameras and algorithms to keep tabs on customers as they peruse store shelves, nabbed $40 million in series A funding last November and a partnership with Paltac in Japan that will see its autonomous checkout solution deployed in 3,000 stores. On the heels of this success, it's secured $35 million in a series B round led by the EQT Ventures fund, with participation from existing investors Initialized Capital, CRV, and Y Combinator. The newfound capital brings Standard Cognition's total raised to date to more than $86 million at a post-money valuation of $535 million. That's more than double the company's valuation as of November 2018, notes CEO Jordan Fisher, and it'll enable Standard Cognition to "continue to focus on making its early customers in the U.S. and Japan successful" while expanding both its team and geographic footprint.
According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, waiting in the checkout line is the top complaint among U.S. grocery, mass-merchandise, and convenience store shoppers. Mega-retailer Amazon and a quartet of well-funded retail technology startups -- Zippin, Standard Cognition, Grabango and Trigo -- believe they have the solution to the problem: Checkout-free stores powered by various technologies that enable shoppers to walk into the store, grab what they want off the shelves and just walk out. Autonomous checkout, another term for checkout-free, is becoming one of the hottest areas of retail investment today. It comes as the convenience expectations of today's Amazon-shopping, Grubhub-ordering, Uber-hailing consumers are ever-increasing, and informing their in-real-life (IRL) shopping demands. Brands are responding in kind, delivering digital services aimed at automating mundane tasks -- in this case, the checkout process -- so much so that the result is meant to feel "automagical," according to trend forecasting firm TrendWatching.
Amazon has opened its first cashierless go Store outside of its Seattle hometown. The firm today unveiled a new store at 113 S Franklin St in Chicago as it begins to test the radical new concept in more cities. However, the new store is Amazon's most limited, open only on weekdays from 7am and to 8PM, and offering'Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. The plans for the New York store were revealed through a series of job postings spotted by The Information. Earlier this months plans for the firm's first store in New York were revealed.