Amazon is at it again and attempted to crack in the $800 billion grocery industry in the United States with its full size Amazon Go Grocery store, its first cashier-less grocery store. This store has been 5 years in the making and is nestled in busy downtown Seattle at 610 East Pike Street blocks from their corporate headquarters.
At 10,400 square feet, Amazon Go Grocery is hoping to give grocery giants like Walmart and Kro Save ger a run for their money. While this space is still much smaller than a typical grocery store that occupies roughly 40,000 square feet, Amazon’s goal with this store specifically is to be more of a neighborhood market where shoppers can get pantry and dinner items. This is in contrast to its Amazon Go Stores, that will be more along the lines of a convenience store with fresher items that will be strategically placed to serve business districts offering on the go lunch and breakfast items.
With roughly 5000 stocked items, Amazon Go Grocery stocks everything from produce, to bakery items, meat, toiletry and even alcohol. Many of the suppliers are the same products found on Amazon subsidiary Whole Foods Market’s shelves, especially produce. Amazon has maintained a strong stance that they are not trying to replace Whole Foods Markets rather to compliment it. There are also well know national brands available, and even some of Amazon’s private label items. Items are sold as an “each”, for example, bananas would be sold individually than in a bunch and other commonly weighed items are sold a flat price. This adds in the checkout process – which is where this concept really shines.
Amazon Go Grocery stores run on the same technology as its smaller counterpart. Shoppers enter the store and using their Amazon app scan a QR code that allows them to add items as they wander the aisles, all the while tallying the order, and when they are done, they simply walk out. Zero human interaction is required, though the store will staff a couple dozen people to help stock shelves and answer shoppers’ questions. Just like shopping with Amazon Prime, no human interaction is needed. Most of the stores will have a small number of employees on hand to answer questions and provide assistance if ever needed.
The rest of grocery industry has been making great strides with cashier free technology, grocery pick up options, and delivery options like Instacart. Walmart’s wholesale store Sam’s Club rolled out its new cashier free concept store called Sam’s Club Now serving its Dallas, Texas are members. Convenience stores are also jumping on the band wagon, 7-11 just opened its first cashier-less store for its employees in Irving, Texas.