Amazon.com Inc opened its checkout-free grocery store to the public today after more than a year of testing moving forward on an experiment that could dramatically alter brick-and-mortar retail.
Amazon Go allows customers to grab items and just walk out without stopping to pay.
The Seattle store, known as Amazon Go, relies on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers remove from the shelves, and what they put back. Cash registers and checkout lines become superfluous — customers are billed after leaving the store using credit cards on file.
Amazon Go, the company’s first brick-and-mortar convenience store opened on the ground floor of Amazon’s new headquarters on Seventh Avenue in Seattle.
Amazon did not discuss if or when it will add more Go locations, and reiterated it has no plans to add the technology to the larger and more complex Whole Foods stores.
Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, said in an interview that the store worked very well throughout the test phase, thanks to four years of prior legwork.
The 1800-square-foot (167-square-metre) store is located in an Amazon office building. To start shopping, customers must scan an Amazon Go smartphone app and pass through a gated turnstile.
Ready-to-eat lunch items greet shoppers when they enter.
Deeper into the store, shoppers can find a small selection of grocery items, including meats and meal kits. An Amazon employee checks IDs in the store’s wine and beer section.
Sleek black cameras monitoring from above and weight sensors in the shelves help Amazon determine exactly what people take.
If someone passes back through the gates with an item, his or her associated account is charged. If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.