Amazon Go Grocery Store ,Opening Jan 22, Looks Like Cashier-less Whole Foods
On Monday, Amazon will finally open its first Amazon Go store, a grocery store experience that eliminates checkout lines and cash registers, to the general public in Seattle.
From initial photos shared on Recode, the first retail location combines the rustic modern aesthetic that shoppers will recognize from Whole Foods, which Amazon purchased for $13.7 billion last summer. The
Like Whole Foods, the Amazon Go’s walls are covered in warm wood (or, more likely, faux wood), and it even has signs for “Whole Food Market” in certain sections. of course, the popular Whole 365 brand is featured prominently.
Originally scheduled to launch in 2017, the store is finally opening a year later than planned, amidst reports of technical glitches. Instead, a beta version of the store has been open to Amazon employees.
Amazon Go’s Vice President of Technology, however, denies this, telling GeekWire, “When we first opened (to employees), we knew that we needed a lot of traffic in order to be able to train the algorithms, to be able to learn from customer feedback, from customer behavior,” he said. “We thought we had to open to the public to get that traffic. But we had a significant amount — well beyond our expectations — of demand from just the Amazon population itself, which allowed us to learn everything that we needed.”
Amazon Go leverages computer vision, deep learning, and sensor fusion to create a seamless purchasing experience — which will either feel like legal shoplifting or a scene from Minority Report, depending on your outlook.
However consumers feel about it, another group will be profoundly affected by the store, if it’s successful: retail workers. According to GeekWire, there were only two human workers on site, working as a greeter and to check IDs, respectively.
While Amazon Go has not made public its plans for expansion out of Seattle or adoption of its technology in Whole Foods stores, if this proof of concept is successful, it will almost certainly expand in the near future, disrupting the retail industry — and its many low-wage workers.
But hey, all in the name of consumer convenience (and corporate profits, right?)
Amazon Go will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday at 2131 7th Ave. in Seattle.