• No checkout line, registers, or cashiers: How exactly does Amazon's new store work?

    By: KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    Amazon opened its long-awaited store, Amazon Go, on Monday in the heart of its Seattle campus, where shoppers can walk right in, shop for their items and simply leave.

    Billed as grocery shopping for the future, the mini-mart has no registers and no cashiers. So how does that work? Read in our Q&A below to find out.

    How does this cashier-less store operate?

    The system works by combining computer vision and machine-learning algorithms and sensors.

    Shoppers have to download an Amazon Go app. They will then use a key pass on that app to scan themselves in the door. Once they are inside, the store tracks what they buy through cameras and shelf sensors. Anything a shopper takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart and anything put back is taken out of the cart.

    The store allows shoppers to scan their smartphone with the Amazon Go app at a turnstile, pick out the items they want and leave. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Scroll down to keep reading.


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    Once shopping in finished, you can just walk out the door -- no lines or checkout -- and you will get a receipt in your app about 5 minutes later.

    Amazon says families can shop together with just one phone scanning everyone in.

    How long does the process take?

    KIRO 7 News talked to one shopper who called the experience clean and organized. He says it took him under a minute to find the items he wanted. The shopper grabbed a six-pack and an Amazon mug.

    Does the store have employees?

    The store is not without employees. There are people there making food, stocking shelves and helping customers.

    What exactly does the store sell?

    The store offers items typically found at a convenience store: ready-to-eat breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks, as well as some grocery staples like bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. It'll also have Amazon Meal Kits.

    The store allows shoppers to scan their smartphone with the Amazon Go app at a turnstile, pick out the items they want and leave. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Are these items more expensive than a regular store?

    When a KIRO 7 News crew was walking around the store, we saw items with prices comparable to other regular grocery stores. There are also items on sale, including eggs and ice cream.

    Where is it in Seattle?

    It's in one of the Amazon buildings in Seattle at 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street. It's open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    When did it open?

    At about 1,800 square feet, the store opened to the public on Monday. Amazon Go had been open only to Amazon employees since December 2016 to test out the technology.

    Will there be more stores?

    Amazon says currently, it has no plans to open up more stores like the Seattle location. But it's another sign that Amazon is serious about expanding its physical presence. It has opened more than a dozen bookstores, taken over space in some Kohl's department stores and bought Whole Foods last year, giving it 470 grocery stores.

    The store allows shoppers to scan their smartphone with the Amazon Go app at a turnstile, pick out the items they want and leave. (Image: KIRO 7)

    Also, Amazon has no plans to implement this technology at Whole Foods or Amazon Books.

    Will this business model last?

    KIRO 7 talked to Geekwire editor Todd Bishop about whether or not this business concept can last long term.

    “The real test will be if people are going to be comfortable with the kind of tracking that it’s doing,” says Bishop. “It basically treats people walking around a physical space exactly like people are tracked online.”


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