Although it took more than a year for Amazon to open its cashierless, checkout-free brick-and-mortar store to the public, the company is already confident enough to expand the “Amazon Go” project to as many as six more locations this year, according to Recode.
Some of the new stores are likely to open in Seattle, home of the first Go location and Amazon’s headquarters, as well as Los Angeles, the report said. It’s not clear if Amazon will open Go stores in any other cities this year.
In Los Angeles, Amazon has reportedly held “serious” talks with billionaire developer Rick Caruso about bringing a Go store to The Grove, his 600,000-square-foot outdoor shopping locale. Los Angeles already is playing a big role in Amazon’s ongoing expansion: the e-Commerce giant is launching its “Shipping With Amazon (SWA)” delivery service in the city before expanding it elsewhere.
The Seattle Amazon Go store mostly sells fresh food items, including the company’s exclusive meal kits. Once a shopper steps inside, the store’s “Just Walk Out” technology — a combination of sensors, computer vision and deep learning — detects what items have been taken off and returned to shelves, keeping track inside a virtual cart. Once finished, shoppers leave the store and are automatically charged on their Amazon accounts.The store uses a variety of scanning technologies and algorithms to monitor patrons and verify purchases.
Though there are no cashiers, the Amazon Go store employs workers who prepare fresh food and meals in an exposed kitchen, as well as a greeter at the entrance and an ID checker at the beer and wine section.
Despite the report, there is still no sign that Amazon intends to introduce this technology into its Whole Foods stores in the near future.
Store No. 8, Walmart’s startup incubator, also is testing a technology-heavy store experience dubbed “Project Kepler” that uses computer vision and cashier-free checkouts similar to the “Just Walk Out” technology.