New York City Will Get Its Own Checkout-Less Amazon Go Store
Back in January, Amazon made headlines when the online retail giant did the unthinkable and opened a brick-and-mortar grocery store in Seattle. The twist: no cashiers or checkout lines! Or, more specifically, the Amazon Go shop employs a "just walk out" model, where shoppers go in, grab whatever they need, and leave—cameras and sensors hiding in the shelves and ceilings track every item you exit with. If it weren't for the fact that you need to download an app before you enter the store (an app that links to your credit card, and tells you how much time you spend browsing), it would almost feel like shoplifting.
After following up that first store with a second Seattle location last month (and teasing possible outposts in Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), Amazon Go has now set its sights on New York City. This weekend, Mashable spotted several job listings for NYC-area store employees, and an Amazon spokesperson confirmed over email that, yes, "We plan to open Amazon Go in New York."
If this new shop is anything like the Seattle outposts, New Yorkers can expect to find ready-made lunches (grab-and-go soups, sandwiches and salads), Whole Foods-brand snacks, meal kits, and upscale convenience store fare like Coolhaus Ice Cream sandwiches (along with more standard picks like Goldfish crackers and Diet Coke).
While Amazon hasn't revealed an opening date for the New York City store, we can assume that's it's not too far away if the company is already looking at résumés. Meanwhile, Microsoft is busy developing their own automated store technologies, Reuters reports. The software giant is working on systems that track what shoppers add to their carts, and they've already shown sample technology to retailers around the world (they're reportedly in talks with Walmart about a potential collaboration). It's not not clear if checkout-free grocery stores are going to be a full-on thing (a shopping experience that requires a credit card and a smartphone isn't exactly inclusive), but it looks like Amazon's competitors aren't taking any chances on being left behind if the invisible robot cashiers do, in fact, take over.