SEATTLE—Amazon has officially opened its first Go Grocery concept, a 10,400-square-foot store chock full of cameras, shelf sensors and software that lets shoppers pick up and leave the store without checking out with a cashier, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The ecommerce retailer honed the checkout-free experience with its chain of 25 Go convenience stores, but the Seattle grocery version is five times larger than any current Go store. “We’ve learned a lot,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of Amazon Go. “There’s no real upper bound. It could be five times as big. It could be 10 times as big.”
Customers visiting Go Grocery can pick up single produce items, such as an apple, and walk out because the pieces are sold per item instead of per pound. The store has around 5,000 items that include packaged meats, toilet paper, pet supplies and 365 products from Whole Foods.
“We tried to go department by department to be able to say, ‘What do people really look for in a neighborhood grocery store?’” Kumar said. “We felt like the just-walk-out shopping experience in a residential neighborhood, in a residential grocery store, would resonate very well.”
The retailer said it would use the store as a way to highlight its technology for use in other retail settings. Amazon has been discussing the technology with convenience stores, airport shops and sports arena stores. The company continues to explore ways to expand beyond online, such as its partnerships with Kohl’s and Rite Aid as delivery pickups and returns for online Amazon orders.
Other retailers are also testing cashierless stores, including 7-Eleven, Walmart and Loop. Meanwhile, consumers are embracing cashier-free shopping, according to a recent Payments.com survey. However, some are expressing concerns about privacy amid all the tracking.