Amazon Go Grocery Store Opens Today
After five years in the making, Amazon will finally be opening the doors to its first Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district today. The full-size, cashier-less grocery store will operate the same way as Amazon’s other Go stores, but this one will offer a much wider selection of food options.
In order to keep the shopping experience seamless and eliminate as much technology as possibly, all items are priced individually. So whether you pick up the biggest banana in the bunch or the smallest, the cost will ultimately be the same.
“You’re seeing a lot of big strides in [this] store,” Cameron Janes, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division, told CNBC during a tour of the grocery store on Monday. “Produce is a big example of that.”
Amazon Go Grocery will offer natural and organic brands, many of which can be found at Whole Foods including meats and products from Whole Foods’ 365 brand. But Amazon made it clear that its new grocery store is not out to compete against Whole Foods (which would be weird since Amazon owns Whole Foods). Instead, the selections at Amazon Go Grocery are meant to combine some of healthier, organic options commonly found at Whole Foods with mainstream brands like Kellogg’s and Coca-Cola.
The store is also meant to be a more convenient stop on par with Publix or Walmart but without the hassle of lines—a concept that begin with the nearly 20 other Go stores across the country. Amazon Go stores use cameras, computer vision technology, and smartphone geofencing to track shoppers and the items they pick up. Upon entering the store, customers just need to scan their Amazon Mobile QR code, shop, and then leave. They can even begin bagging as they go to save even more time. After they leave the store (which is the equivalent of checking out), they will receive a receipt through their Amazon Companion app.
“Customers shop in many different ways, in many different locations,” Amazon’s Dilip Kumar, the company’s vice president of physical retail and technology, tells The Verge. “Sometimes you want it to be delivered, some times you go to the store, some times you go to Whole Foods. Our job is to be able to figure out how to add value.”
“Because the customer has different needs... and different things that they look for at different stores, what is it we can we do here in this type of format in this neighborhood to add value? That to me is the selection we carry, the pricing we have — plus the convenience of just being able to walk out.”