SEATTLE—Amazon has another new business line selling the technology behind its cashier-less convenience stores to other retailers, reports the New York Times.
The company has "several" signed deals with unnamed customers for its “Just Walk Out” technology. This move reflects Amazon's strategy of building out internal capabilities and then turning those into lucrative services it offers others.
The company’s chain of small Amazon Go stores has brought shopping without checkout lines into the mainstream, and the market for retail without cashiers—one of the most common vocations in the United States—could grow to $50 billion, U.S. venture firm Loup Ventures has estimated.
Dilip Kumar, Amazon's vice president of physical retail and technology, said shoppers' preferences will determine how big the business becomes.
"Do customers like standing in lines?" he asked. "This has pretty broad applicability across store sizes, across industries, because it fundamentally tackles a problem of getting convenience in physical locations, especially when people are hard-pressed for time."
Unlike the Amazon Go setup, shoppers will insert a credit card into a gated turnstile to enter, rather than scan an app. The turnstiles will display the logo "Just Walk Out technology by Amazon," but all other branding and store aspects will be controlled by the retailer using the service.
Items picked up by a customer and any guests who enter with them will be added to the shopper's virtual cart. The store will then bill the credit card once the person or group leaves the store. No barcode scans or checkout lines are required.
Kumar said Amazon will install the technology, including ceiling cameras and shelf weight sensors, at retailers' stores—either new locations or retrofits—and it will have a 24-7 support line available.