Amazon Go, Amazon’s first automated grocery store, will make its public debut on Monday morning, making good on the promise of “no lines, no checkouts, no registers.”
The company’s automated check-out technology will undoubtedly bring up issues of job creation and job destruction by the e-commerce giant as it tests whether consumers will take to the technologically-advanced retail experience.
Set to debut in Seattle, Amazon Go utilizes cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they replace, then bills customers after they leave the store using credit cards on file. Establishing such a setup eliminates the need for checkout services and headaches.
Grocers view the opening of Amazon Go as another potential disruption by the world’s largest online retailer, which, in 2017 purchased high-end supermarket chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Since shoppers are deterred by long checkout lines, a company that offers a no-wait grocery shopping option has a distinct advantage in the marketplace.
For the past year, the single 1,800 square foot located in the middle of Amazon’s Seattle campus has been in beta mode for Amazon employees only.
Amazon calls it “Just Walk Out” technology. Customers scan the Amazon Go app as they walk into the store, pick up whatever they want, and simply walk out.
According to CNBC, Amazon’s technology detects everything customers take or return to shelves and keep track in a virtual shopping cart. Amazon then charges the account and sends a receipt.
For now, Amazon is testing the concept on a limited basis and has no plans to implement the technology in Whole Foods, which it purchased last year for nearly $14 billion.