Amazon opens a physical grocery store

New supermarket features no human cashiers, scheduled to open to public in early 2017

Amazon opens a physical grocery store

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Online retailer Amazon on Monday opened the doors to a brick and mortar grocery store in Seattle, posing a new challenge to established supermarket chains.

In a significant departure from the usual understanding of a grocery store, Amazon Go, has no wait lines or checkout counters. Instead, shoppers tap a smartphone on a transmitter at the front of the store, which logs them into their Amazon account. Via sensors and artificial intelligence, the app tracks which items are in a shopper’s cart. The technology can even detect when an item is returned to a shelf.

Once finished shopping, the customer can simply walk out the front door and Amazon automatically charges whatever credit card or bank account is linked to the Amazon account.

Amazon said in a statement that the system is “just walk out technology”.

The store in Amazon’s hometown of Seattle is open only to the company’s employees for now, but is scheduled to be open to the public in early 2017. Amazon said it began working on the technology in 2012.

“Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout?” the company said. “Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go?”

The store opening is a significant shot at established supermarkets. As Amazon has completely disrupted the world of retail for 20 years, the local grocery store remained largely unaffected. The appeal to dive into the industry is understandable -- grocers made some $600 billion in sales in 2015, according to research firm IBISWorld. 

Since the store hires several in-house cooks and sells hot, ready-to-eat food alongside groceries, Amazon is also, in effect, muscling into the growing casual dining industry. In essence, not only is Amazon competing with Safeway and Whole Foods Market, it is now competing with restaurants like Chipotle and Panera Bread. 

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Last Mod: 06 Aralık 2016, 09:07
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