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22 January 2018, 10:12 | Dan Bryan
Amazon to open checkout-free store in Seattle Amazon is about to open its long-promised convenience store with zero checkout lines
The company is keeping mum about whether it plans to open more Go stores, but if it's keen on the concept, it'll have competition to worry about.
Amazon have said that they now have no plans to roll out further Amazon Go stores and that it is an experiement to push the 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 opened to employees of the online retail giant in December 2016 and had been expected to allow the public in more quickly.
It was also criticized by grocery-store workers' unions, which feared an effort to automate the work done by cashiers, the second-most-common job in the U.S. Amazon promised that the first stores with no cashiers or checkout lines would be opened in 2017 in Seattle and Washington.
Once customers exit the store through the gates, the credit card associated with their Amazon account is then billed the total amount of their virtual cart. The online retailer is looking to change the face of real-world shopping with its AI-powered brick and mortar stores that are free from checkouts and time-consuming lines. Then go ahead and shop like you would in a grocery or convenience store.
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The store sells grocery essentials along with ready-to-eat meals and meal kits that can be made at home, the website noted. Essentially, customers are prompted to scan in with the Go app upon entrance to the store. According to a Recode report, these instances pushed back the debut of Amazon Go to the public. Amazon has encouraged employees to enter the store in pairs and buy lunch.
The convenience store puts a premium on convenience: you walk in by scanning your phone via a specialized app, grab what you want, and walk out - with a charge for whatever you took logged automatically. Humans also restock shelves, help with product locations and are employed as fresh food chefs. The system also knows the weight of every item in the store, which makes it easier to keep track of what has been picked up and what hasn't. This method is based on the honor system, with people looking to take advantage thought to be in the minority, Amazon said.
Amazon's Alexa smart assistant was the quiet star of the show at last year's CES.
Amazon's stock price closed at $1,294.58 per share on Friday, Jan. 19, up from $817.88 per share one year ago.
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