Amazon to debut ‘cashier-less’ store in downtown Seattle
SEATTLE — Amazon employees have been testing it. But is the public ready for a store without a cashier?
More than a year after it introduced the concept, Amazon is opening its artificial intelligence-powered Amazon Go store in downtown Seattle on Monday.
The store on the bottom floor of the company’s Seattle headquarters allows shoppers to scan their smartphone with the Amazon Go app at a turnstile, pick out the items they want, and leave.
By combining computer vision, machine learning algorithms and sensors, the online retail giant can tell what people have purchased and charge their Amazon account. And if someone puts an item back, they are not charged.
The store is not without employees, however, as there will be people in the store who would make food, stock shelves, and help customers, Amazon said.
According to Amazon, the store will offer ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese, and chocolates. It will also have Amazon Meal Kits.
At about 1,800 square feet, the Amazon Go store adds to the company’s growing physical store presence, and expansion into groceries after it purchased organic grocer Whole Foods and its 470 stores in 2017.
Amazon now has more than a dozen Amazon Books stores, which also sell toys, electronics, and small gifts. It has space in some Kohl’s stores as well as small shops in several malls.
The company had announced the Amazon Go store in December 2016 and said it would open by early 2017, but it delayed the debut as it worked on the technology and company employees tested it out. /kga
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