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Amazon Brings In Its Cashier-Less Tech To Its Newly Launched Larger Grocery Stores

Amazon Brings In Its Cashier-Less Tech To Its Newly Launched Larger Grocery Stores
World’s largest e-commerce company Amazon plans to expand more by introducing its cashier-less store technology to larger stores.
Amazon opened its ‘Amazon Go Grocery’, a physical store in the Seattle’s Capitol Hill which will be four times larger than the first cashier-less location that the company had opened for public in January 2018. The difference between the two types of stores is that unlike the smaller Amazon Go convenience stores that targeted and served office workers, the ‘Amazon Go Grocery’ stores are aimed at customers in residential neighborhoods.
Analysts say that this new format of stores is a strategy of Amazon to target and win over more of the weekly spend of customers in groceries which will help the e-retailer to compete better with some of the largest players in the US grocery market such as Kroger and Albertsons.
There have been multiple reports about Amazon that had started off its journey as an online book seller, is planning to launch a new chain of physical grocery stores that would able to able to address the needs for a different set of tastes than those that are offered by the up-market Whole Foods, which was acquired by it in 2017.
Customers at the ‘Amazon Go Grocery’ stores will be able to scan an ‘Amazon Go’ smartphone app on a gated turnstile for entering and begin shopping just as they do at Amazon’s convenience stores. The products that customers put into their carts is monitored by hundreds of ceiling cameras and shelf weight censors while the system also bills the customers from the information available on the on-file credit cards after the customers leave the store. This eliminated the need of cashiers and checkout lines. And when a shopper decides not to purchase a product and puts it back on the shelf after looking at it, the system is also able to remove that particular product from the virtual basket of the customer.
Replicating this process was a huge technical challenge for the company with respect to its new larger store format because there will be produce priced per item from Whole Foods’ suppliers in addition to a host of baked products, fresh meat and seafood. Dilip Kumar, the company’s vice president of physical retail and technology, said that the manner in which shoppers inspect the fruit they buy was especially taught to this billing technology.
Kumar said: “There’s a lot more interaction that tends to happen” with produce than a can of Coke.
The new store format will however not be to the scale of a full-fledged supermarket. For example, these stores will not have a deli or seafood counter even though it will have fresh cold cuts in packages – which can be found at other grocers that have an expansive selections of items from suppliers.
It is however not clear how much Amazon would be saving by eliminating labour costs for cashiers by purchasing and installing cameras and sensors which are the core of the technology. Amazon had also hired “several dozen associates” for the location for interaction with customers as well as for re-stocking shelves, the company said.
Currently, the company will not fulfill customer orders out of the Seattle store.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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