Are you ready for it? Your favorite online electronic commerce company took a leap in the world of retail by opening its very first mini-mart. That’s right, an actual Amazon officially exists in Seattle, Washington. And get this…not one cashier can be found at the store.
Amazon’s new 1,800-square foot market called “Amazon Go” is completely cashier-free. Customers will never have to wait on line when checking out of Amazon Go, simply because there are no lines to cash out at. According to a report by The New York Times, when a customer grabs an item off of a shelf, that item is automatically put into their virtual shopping cart. Thanks to hundreds of small cameras throughout the store, Amazon is able to detect what you grab and what you put back simply by watching you. Creepy? Maybe a little. Brilliant? Maybe a lot.
To check out, simply walk out! This technology is able to detect what you buy based on what you grab, and it will connect directly to your Amazon account online. To connect your account, you scan your Amazon Go app when initially walking into the store. Shopping carts aren’t available for customers—so if you plan on venturing to the new Amazon Go, make sure to bring a shopping bag with you.
According to CNBC, the technology (also known as “Just Walk Out”) used within the store is similar to the algorithm and sensor fusion that can be found in autonomous driving development right now. This particular store was unveiled in 2016 and has been in beta mode for Amazon employees until now. The store officially opened to the public on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.
Although there have been no plans announced for opening multiple stores (or using this technology in Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired in August of 2017), numerous news sources are pointing out the implications of opening up a cashier-free grocery store. Amazon’s technology can certainly be useful, but that would mean seeing a serious cut in cashier jobs. In May of 2016, the Department of Labor reported the number of cashiers in the country is up to 3.5 million, a little less than 900 thousand of those coming from grocery stores. Over 600 thousand can be found at gas stations.
Speaking of Amazon, have you seen these 13 crazy food items you can actually buy on Amazon? Here’s to hoping we can find some of these at the new mini-mart in Seattle!