A Cashier-less Whole Foods Near You?
Amazon's checkout-free tech is reportedly bound for bigger stores
Amazon is planning to bring its cashierless checkout technology to bigger stores, and maybe even Whole Foods.
Two years ago, Amazon debuted its plan for brick and mortar shopping without the checkout line in its 1,800 square-foot Amazon Go store. Now the Wall Street Journal reports it’s planning to go bigger and is currently testing the cashierless technology in a larger space laid out like a big grocery store.
At existing Amazon Go stores, customers scan a bar code as they walk in, select their items, and then are automatically charged when they walk out. The technology that allows for this streamlined experience depends on being able to track people around the store and tell which items they’re picking up. That’s a challenge in traditional grocery stores, which have higher ceilings, bigger floor plans, and more products.
Although Amazon has previously denied plans to introduce cashierless technology to Whole Foods, the WSJ‘s sources say that would be the most likely application of adapting the technology for larger spaces. That could carry implications for Whole Foods workers, who have already complained that after Amazon’s acquisition of the grocery store they were expected to act like “robots.”
When Fortune asked for comment on the WSJ report, Amazon said it doesn’t “comment on rumor and speculation.”
Amazon’s cashierless brick and mortar stores are posing another challenge to traditional retailers. 7-Eleven is reportedly trying to catch up with Amazon, rolling out cashierless technology in some of its stores in Japan.