The cashierless model may push other retailers to explore adding automation and AI aspects to their brick-and-mortar stores.
Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
- Amazon may be opening six more Amazon Go stores in 2018, according to a Recode report.
- The cashier-free Amazon Go stores may cause other retailers to look at ways automation can keep them competitive, cut costs, and free up human employee time.
Amazon plans on expanding the cashier and checkout line-free Amazon Go store concept to six new locations this year, according to a Recode report.
The report comes one month after the initial Go store opened in Amazon's Seattle headquarters. Amazon declined to comment to Recode, but the idea that they could be planning an expansion may push other retailers to advance any automation or artificial intelligence (AI) plans for their brick-and-mortar store.
Some of the potential stores could open around Seattle, with another potential spot being Los Angeles, Recode said. It's unclear if Amazon is looking into other cities at this time.
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Amazon Go stores are essentially grocery stores with limited inventory equipped with cameras and sensors, using a system dubbed Walk Out Technology. Customers scan their phone upon entering the store, pick up the items they want, and are charged as they walk out. The system doesn't require cashiers or waiting in checkout lines, and may help customers avoid being accidentally overcharged.
If they take off and begin building new locations, other retailers may reexamine how they're using emerging technologies in their brick-and-mortar stores, especially if they fall in the grocery sector. If successful, the cashier-free push could lead to a loss of human jobs. It could also shift the jobs: Amazon has hired chefs and customer service representatives for the Go store.
Other companies are already testing automated stores. In December, it was reported that Walmart is experimenting with a fully-automated store, similar to the Amazon Go concept. A grocery chain in Wisconsin is using an automated mobile app to allow customers to pay using the app instead of through a cashier.
Recode noted that Walmart's automated store, dubbed Project Kepler, would be complementary to its larger stores, potentially reducing the need for job cuts.
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