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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : December 06, 2016

Amazon develops game-changing grocery store

If you did not know any better, walking into a store, picking up a few items, and walking out without heading to a check-out might look like shoplifting. However, in planned new Amazon Go stores it's all about technology.

by Helen Leggatt

Called "Just Walk Out Technology", Amazon's latest game-changing retail technology uses its mobile app to enable store customers to walk in, pick up what they need and, as the name suggests, just walk out.

How does it work? After entering a store, shoppers present their personal QR code, via mobile, to a reader before picking up the required items and leaving. RFID is used to detect when a shopper takes an item from the shelf, and also if they replace it on the shelf. No queues, no check-out, and even the receipt is sent electronically. The cost of the shopping is then deducted from the card associated with an Amazon account.

One Amazon Go store is currently in operation, in Seattle, and it is open only to Amazon employees as the company trials the technology. However, it is expected that the first store to open to the public will do so in 2017. It will sell grocery items and essentials, as well as ready-meals and high-end deli offerings.

"Four years ago we asked ourselves: what if we could create a shopping experience with no lines and no checkout?" says Amazon in an Amazon Go FAQ. "Could we push the boundaries of computer vision and machine learning to create a store where customers could simply take what they want and go? Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and Just Walk Out Shopping."

Tags: grocery store trends, mobile, retail, technology

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