Amazon opened its first cashier-less store outside of Seattle, in Chicago, earlier this week. The Windy City location is the fourth Amazon Go to be opened nationwide, with another planned for Chicago (and one each currently in the works for New York and San Francisco).
And, according to Bloomberg, “people familiar with the matter” claim that Amazon might have as many 3,000 more of these cashier-less stores operating by the end of 2021.
Bill Schober, editorial director at Canadian Grocer‘s sister publication Shopper Marketing, toured the newest location. Here’s a recap of what he observed and photos below:
There was a short line at the door, but they move people pretty fast. The Amazon staffers had apps that kept count of the number of shoppers inside, and it looked like 80 to 85 at any one time was the max.
Before entering, shoppers had to download the Amazon Go app and link it to their Amazon account. It took about a minute. Then you get a QR code on your screen that you wave to get in. (Finally, a useful application for a QR code!) Note that you can’t screenshot the QR code to let someone else in. It seems to be dynamic and changeable.
Employees were constantly restocking shelves, with shelf-edge signage noting “So Good It’s Gone” on products that were unavailable. There is an endcap full of Amazon branded knick-knacks and paper bags, the latter of which can be purchased through the app.
And, once you’ve passed through the exit gates there’s an area to pick up condiments, and microwaves to heat up food.
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