Amazon Looking to Expand Cashierless Tech

Can cashierless tech be used in a 40,000-square-foot store? Amazon is testing it out.
December 04, 2018

SEATTLE – Amazon has already opened a handful of stores around the country with its cashierless checkout technology. But these seven Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco are typically less than 2,500 square feet and only sell prepared food, drinks and groceries.

Can the same system and technology work in a bigger store? Amazon hopes so.

At its headquarters in Seattle, Amazon is testing out the technology in a larger store format. The hope is to enable tracking from what shoppers pick from shelves—with more products and higher ceilings. The Wall Street Journal suggests that Amazon may be looking to utilize the system at Whole Foods—only adding to the threat to traditional grocers who are trying to keep up.

Amazon is known for its digital and online presence, but with the cashierless c-stores, bookstores and pop-up shops, it’s starting to infiltrate the physical retail space.

“We’re new to physical space, but it’s important for us,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of technology at Amazon Go, on a recent tour of the first of those stores in San Francisco. “It tends to build a lot of habit.”

Whole Foods stores are usually 40,000 square feet and home to nearly 34,000 items. It would be quite a tech adjustment from a small c-store. The biggest complication could come from weighted produce items, but that’s exactly what Amazon is hoping to overcome.