The first Amazon Go grocery store has opened in Seattle and does not contain lines or checkout counters as part of the shopping experience.
Currently being tested by Amazon employees, the store expects to open to the public by early 2017, according to Reuters.
Instead of standing in line to check out, customers simply pick up items off the shelf and sensors keep track of their selections through a mobile app. Whatever they don’t put back on the shelf is charged to their Amazon account when they leave the store.
The Amazon Go system uses AI and machine learning to track items as customers pick them up or put them back after buyers tap their cell phones on a turnstile to log into the store’s network and connect to their Amazon Prime accounts.
Amazon is calling it “Just walk out technology,” and it could revolutionize the way people shop for groceries, said USA Today.
Besides the usual grocery store items like milk and bread, Amazon Go also sells meal kits and ready-made meals, which could also compete with fast casual restaurant chains and fresh meal delivery services.
“Having meal kits available is simply brilliant,” food marketing expert Phil Lempert told USA Today. “As the meal kit industry struggles due to the shipping/logistics aspect, Amazon Go could be a venue where they could succeed.”
It's unknown when Amazon Go might expand beyond Seattle. Amazon recently opened its first brick and mortar bookstore in Seattle and also operates temporary kiosks in malls to sell its Kindle products and accessories.
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