Amazon is testing larger version of its automated Amazon Go brick-and-mortar stores, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, meaning you could potentially do your weekly grocery shopping without interacting with another human being.
Amazon Go, Amazon's store where you can pick your items and automatically check out, is operating locations in Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco. Amazon sources told The Wall Street Journal that if its advanced store concept takes off, it could inspire other big-box retailers to make their business models more convenient. There's also the issue of how the technology would work with items like fruit and vegetables, which unless pre-packed, need to be weighed to determine price. Prime members already receive exclusive discounts at Amazon's Whole Foods stores, so offering the benefit of avoiding checkout lines at some point in the future is not too outlandish. "Amazon has previously said it has no plans to add the technology to Whole Foods", the Journal writes, adding that both Amazon and Whole Foods have declined to comment on its report. Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired for roughly $13.5 billion in 2017, has since added grocery pickups and one-hour delivery.
Amazon has moved deeper into physical retail over the past few years after more than two decades shaping how people shop online.
The company is understood to be planning to have around 3,000 of the cashierless stores by 2021.
Amazon's cashierless technology has so far been limited to "Go" stores with small footprints. "It tends to build a lot of habit".
The Amazon Go concept may be getting ready to go bigger.
To use Amazon Go, customers scan an app-generated code on their phones as they walk in, then pick up what they want and leave without stopping to check out.