You no longer have to make a beeline to Seattle if you want to shop at an Amazon Go store. Amazon has posted job listings for store managers in both Chicago and San Francisco, making it clear where the automated stores are headed next. The company didn't confirm opening dates or locations in a response to the Seattle Times. However, there are already some clues: Curbed noted that Amazon has a building permit for a store in Chicago's Loop, while a San Francisco Chronicle report claimed that a store would open near Union Square. An earlier Recode scoop asserted that Amazon would open as many as six more stores in 2018, with one possibly coming to Los Angeles.
Amazon's cashier-less grocery shop, dubbed Amazon Go by the company, is going through some teething problems, according to the Wall Street Journal. Specifically, the new shop can't handle tracking more than about 20 people at the same time, and freaks out "if an item has been moved from its specific spot on the shelf" the paper writes, citing un-named sources. It's an ignominious start for what was supposed to be the future of the grocery store. The idea behind Amazon Go is that a highly connected grocery store, with enough cameras tracking every item and visitor, can operate without tills at all. Individuals are authenticated through their smartphones and their movement throughout the shop, and interaction with products, are tracked with a plethora of cameras.
The days of spending your precious lunchbreak standing in line for a sandwich are increasingly numbered, as supermarket chain Sainsbury's has launched the UK's first ever till-free grocery store. The busy store in London's Holborn Circus has been given a mobile-first makeover, so customers can scan and pay for their goods via their smartphone, while staff previously chained to checkout areas are free to spend time helping customers on the shop floor. It's not quite as ground-breaking as what's being done by Amazon with its Amazon Go stores. Here, customers just pick up whatever they want and a combination of sensors and cameras makes sure they're billed automatically when they leave the store -- Sainsburys' tech requires a bit of work by the customer. However, the popularity of self-scan grocery shopping in the UK means the process won't be alien to users.
Amazon's experimental checkout-free retail store in Seattle formally opened to the greater public back in January and pulled off its liberating -- if unnerving -- concept: Scan the dedicated app upon entering, slip groceries in your basket and walk out the door, with a suite of cameras and facial recognition tech ensuring you're charged for what you walk out with. In light of its success, the company planned six more to open in 2018, and it seems one of those has just been spotted. A second Amazon Go appeared in downtown Seattle, and according to a statement provided to GeekWire, it's slated to open in Fall 2018. The site peeked into the alleged new store and reported a lot of elements familiar to the earlier Amazon Go experience, from entry-exit scanning gates to windows bearing the brand's slogan "No lines. It's located on the bottom floor of the Madison Centre office tower, located next to the eye-catching Seattle Public Library and across town from the initial Amazon Go located at the shipping giant's headquarters.
Most emerging scan-and-go solutions are still not completely frictionless, as consumers have to physically scan their products. They are also too expensive for retailers, requiring major upfront spend and ongoing infrastructure maintenance (e.g. In an interview with RTIH, he says: "By offering a checkout-free retail experience based on the shopping cart, our solutions drive value across the business – from payments to marketing to merchandising to loyalty – with a low cost of entry." His company has tested its Artificial Intelligence Cart (AIC) concept at various exhibitions, including the MWC in Barcelona and Vivatech in Paris in 2017, and in 2018 at the GTC in Tel-Aviv. "The reactions from leading retailers were very motivating and constructive from the beginning. Retailers have increasingly been investing in technology like artificial intelligence to compete against retail giants like Amazon, so the proven results and unique approach our platform offers have been met with excitement," he says.