At Amazon's New Supermarket, You Can Grab Your Groceries and Just Walk Out
The cashier-less system means no more waiting in line.
Standing in the checkout line is arguably the worst part of grocery shopping. No matter how hard you try to pick the shortest lane, you inevitably end up stuck behind the person with an item that's not ringing up correctly. So what if frustrating wait times were a thing of the past? Amazon just made that dream a reality by opening the first supermarket without cashiers.
The online retailer's new grocery store, which opened in Seattle on Tuesday, takes grab-and-go to a new level. Amazon Go Grocery allows you to grab items off the shelves and simply walk out, eliminating checkout lines from the shopping process.
Before you shop, you need to download the Amazon Go app (available for iOS and Android devices) on your smartphone and sign in to your Amazon account. You'll scan a QR code in the app upon entering the store, then you can put your phone away and start shopping. As you pull items off the shelves, cameras and sensors track everything you place in your reusable bags or cart. If you change your mind about a product, you can simply put it back. Once you have everything on your list, leave the store, no checkout needed.
Amazon's "Just Walk Out Technology" tracks what you grabbed in a virtual cart, and you'll receive a receipt and a charge to your Amazon account after leaving the store. You must have a debit or credit card linked to your account to automatically pay on your way out. (If you prefer to pay in cash, you'll have to stop by a counter to make your purchase and get a receipt.) To shop the store with family or friends, you'll need to scan in each person using your app at the entrance. Then anything they take off the shelves will also be added to your virtual cart.
Despite the checkout-free system, you'll still see real humans working at the store. Associates will greet shoppers, answer questions, and restock shelves, so don't worry, the entire grocery shopping process has yet to be taken over by robots.
The supermarket offers everything you'd expect from a typical grocery store, including fresh produce, meat and seafood, baked goods, household items, and ready-to-eat meals, as well as beer, wine, and spirits. The store is an expansion of the company's chain of Amazon Go convenience stores, which currently has 25 locations in four cities nationwide.
The Amazon Go Grocery store is located at 610 E. Pike St. in Seattle, and it's open 7 days a week. Although Amazon hasn't announced plans to open similar stores in other locations, the future of grocery shopping might never be the same.