Amazon Go

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Amazon Go
Subsidiary
Industry
FoundedJanuary 22, 2018 (2018-01-22)
Seattle, Washington
Number of locations
18 (2019)
Area served
ParentAmazon
Websiteamazon.com/go

Amazon Go is a chain of convenience stores in the United States operated by the online retailer Amazon, with 17 open and announced store locations in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City as of 2019.[1]

The stores are partly automated, with customers able to purchase products without being checked out by a cashier or using a self-checkout station.[2][3] Amazon Go stores were conceptualized and tested by a team of Amazon executives, who constructed a 15,000-square-foot mock supermarket in a rented warehouse in Seattle, before revealing the work to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2015.[1] The first store, located in the company's Day 1 building, opened to employees on December 5, 2016, and to the public on January 22, 2018. The flagship store has prepared foods, meal kits, limited groceries, and liquor available for purchase.[4]

Technology and implementation

According to a promotional video published by Amazon, the store concept uses several technologies, including computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion to automate much of the purchase, checkout, and payment steps associated with a retail transaction.[5] The store concept is seen as a revolutionary model that relies on the prevalence of smartphones and geofencing technology to streamline the customer experience, as well as supply chain and inventory management.[6] However, public roll-out of the Seattle Amazon Go prototype location was delayed due to issues with the sensors' ability to track multiple users or objects within the store,[7] such as when children move items to other shelves or when more than one customer has a similar body habitus.[8]

Customers must download the Amazon Go app for iOS and Android, which is linked to their Amazon account, before shopping at the store.[9] The app allows users to add others to their Amazon account, so kids and a spouse's purchases can be charged to the same bill.[10] The ceiling of the store has multiple cameras and store shelves have weight sensors, to detect which item(s) a customer took.[11] If a customer takes an item off the shelf, it will be added to the person's virtual cart. If a customer places an item back on the shelf, it is also removed from the customer's virtual cart.

Locations

As of 2019, there are 18 store locations (both established and announced) in the United States.[1]

# City and state Date of first store Number of stores Ref(s)
1 Seattle, Washington
January 22, 2018
5
2 Chicago, Illinois
September 17, 2018
6
3 San Francisco, California
October 23, 2018
4
4 New York City, New York
May 7, 2019
3
Total 18 [16]

Stores

In its report on the opening, The Wall Street Journal reported that this first location was one of at least three that Amazon planned to open, each of which was in a different format.[17] In October 2016, the Business Insider reported they had seen internal Amazon documents that described Amazon opening up as many as 2,000 stores, over the next ten years.[18] Amazon spokesmen refuted the reports of 2,000 stores, insisting they were still learning.[19][20] The Business Insider predicted that Amazon was likely to open only twenty or so stores, during the next two years.

Entrance and exit turnstiles at the first Amazon Go store

The Verge reported this first store was scheduled to open to the public in early January 2017; its December 2016 opening was a beta version for Amazon employees only.[3] The first store was only 1,800 square feet (170 m2), the size of a corner convenience store.[17] By October 2017, the store had yet to open due to issues with the technology tracking over 20 people at one time.[21]

The store opened to the public on January 22, 2018.[22] In addition to stocking name brands and local brands, the store sells many of Amazon's house brands, such as Wickedly Prime and 365.[23] Food stamps and public assistance for low income persons are not accepted,[24] nor are customers without smartphones, or with smartphones that do not have the Amazon Go app downloaded.[citation needed] A second Downtown Seattle location at the Madison Centre opened on August 27, 2018.[25][26] The third Amazon Go store, at the Troy Block complex in South Lake Union, is the largest at 2,100 square feet (200 m2) and opened in September 2018.[27]

In May 2018, The Seattle Times reported that Amazon was planning to open Amazon Go stores in Chicago and San Francisco;[28] and in September, a store planned for New York City was confirmed.[29] In September 2018, Amazon Go opened its first location outside of Seattle at the company's offices in the Chicago Loop.[30] Amazon Go location number 9 was opened on October 23, 2018 at 98 Post Street in San Francisco.[31]

In September 2018, Bloomberg News reported Amazon was considering plans to open as many as 3,000 Amazon Go locations across the United States by 2021.[32]

In response to potential discrimination against low-income people, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have passed legislation banning cash-less stores and retailers.[33] A new Amazon Go store in New York City opened on May 7, 2019, with cash acceptance in response to previous criticism over the use of app-only purchases and its effects on the poor.[34]

See also

References

  1. 1 2 3 "3 more Amazon Go stores on the way in Seattle and Chicago, bringing total footprint to 17 locations". GeekWire. July 22, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  2. Nick Wingfield (December 5, 2016). "Amazon Moves to Cut Checkout Line, Promoting a Grab-and-Go Experience". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  3. 1 2 Natt Garun (December 5, 2016). "Amazon just launched a cashier-free convenience store". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  4. Day, Matt (January 21, 2018). "Amazon Go cashierless convenience store opening to the public". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  5. amazon (December 5, 2016). "Introducing Amazon Go and the world's most advanced shopping technology" via YouTube.
  6. Grewal, Dhruv; Roggeveen, Anne L.; Nordfält, Jens (March 2017). "The Future of Retailing". Journal of Retailing. The Future of Retailing. 93 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.jretai.2016.12.008.
  7. Rey, Jason Del (March 27, 2017). "Amazon's store of the future is delayed. Insert 'Told ya so' from skeptical retail execs". Recode. Vox Media. Retrieved June 15, 2017.
  8. Johnston, Chris (January 22, 2018). "The supermarket with no checkouts". BBC News. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  9. Bosa, Deirdre (January 21, 2018). "Amazon's automated grocery store will launch Monday after a year of false starts". CNBC. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  10. "Amazon opens store with no cashiers, lines or registers". Associated Press. January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  11. "Amazon's 1st high-tech grocery store opens to the public". CBC News. January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  12. Amazon Go opens for the first time in New York. And the cashier-free store will accept cash
  13. Amazon Go
  14. 1 2 Laura Stevens, Khadeeja Safdar (December 5, 2016). "Amazon Working on Several Grocery-Store Formats, Could Open More Than 2,000 Locations". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  15. Eugene Kim (October 26, 2016). "Internal Amazon documents reveal a vision of up to 2,000 grocery stores across the US". Business Insider. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  16. Ben Fox Rubin (December 7, 2016). "Amazon: No, we're not opening 2,000 stores". CNET. Retrieved March 8, 2017. Two days after The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon plans to open "more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores under its name," the company knocked down the idea as false.
  17. Jacob Kastrenakes (December 8, 2016). "Amazon says it has 'no plans' to open 2,000 stores". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 8, 2017.
  18. Kastrenakes, Jacob (March 27, 2017). "Amazon's cashier-free store reportedly breaks if more than 20 people are in it". The Verge. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
  19. Weise, Elizabeth (January 21, 2018). "Amazon set to open its grocery store without a checkout line to the public". USA Today. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  20. Gershgorn, Dave (January 21, 2018). "Amazon's AI-powered grocery store is opening to the public tomorrow". Quartz. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  21. Lamagna, Maria (January 26, 2018). "Amazon has made a point of targeting low-income customers". MarketWatch. News Corp. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  22. Day, Matt (August 27, 2018). "Amazon has a second Go at cashierless convenience store in downtown Seattle". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  23. Prigg, Mark (July 5, 2018). "Amazon Go to open second store in Seattle". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved July 5, 2018.
  24. Lerman, Rachel (September 4, 2018). "Amazon opens third cashierless Go store in Seattle, this one in South Lake Union". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 4, 2018.
  25. Day, Matt (May 14, 2018). "Amazon Go targets Chicago, San Francisco for new stores". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  26. "New York is getting its very own checkout-free Amazon Go store". Mashable. September 9, 2018. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  27. Zumbach, Lauren (September 17, 2018). "'Just walk out shopping': Amazon Go opens first Chicago location of its cashierless convenience store". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  28. Statt, Nick (October 23, 2018). "Amazon's latest cashier-less Go store opens in San Francisco today". The Verge. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  29. Soper, Spencer (September 19, 2018). "Amazon Will Consider Opening Up to 3,000 Cashierless Stores by 2021". Bloomberg News. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  30. Har, Janie (May 7, 2019). "Cash is still king: San Francisco bans credit-only stores". SF Gate. Associated Press. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  31. Pisani, Joseph (May 6, 2019). "Amazon to open first Go store that accepts cash". The Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved May 6, 2019.

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