Amazon opened a large supermarket without cash registers and scanners in the American city of Seattle on Tuesday. The company already had smaller stores, but the new supermarket covers almost 1000 square meters.
The new Amazon Go Grocery supermarket is five times as large as the existing Amazon test shops. But according to Amazon it can be much bigger. “There is no upper limit,” said Dilip Kumar, who is responsible for supermarkets for the company.
Customers must install the Amazon Go app and scan a QR code at gates at the store entrance. Then sensors record what people take from a shelf and put in their basket.
There are scales on the shelves, which check whether someone is secretly taking an extra bottle of orange juice, for example. Apples and pears are paid per piece, not by weight.
The cameras also record when someone puts something back. The messages are automatically tracked. When they leave, they have to scan their phones again at the gates and the final amount is automatically deducted.
Amazon is considering supplying the technology to others. For example, shops at airports and in sports complexes could become cashless. Stores could also choose to use the technology to manage inventories without having to cancel their checkouts.
Amazon now has 25 Go stores in Seattle, New York, Chicago and San Francisco. The smallest is around 40 square meters in size, the largest over 200 square meters.
Companies like Microsoft and Albert Heijn are also working on stores without cash registers. Analysts wonder if the costs for the technology outweigh what it yields, such as salaries of cashiers who do not have to be paid.