Initiated as an experiment, Amazon’s physical shopping store Amazon Go has been making headlines again. The shopping giants recently announced the plan to open as many as 6 additional storefronts this year.
Amazon’s hometown Seattle is being touted as the city where most of these sophisticated stores would be seen. With less clarity on the plans, Los Angeles is the only other city which looks a probable location at least for this year.
Los Angeles recently hosted a meeting for talks with billionaire developer Enrico Caruso who plans to get a GO Store to his 600,000 square-foot outdoor shopping complex. A minimum of 3 locations for these new Go stores would be in Seattle itself, according to sources.
People welcomed the opening of the first Go store a month ago. This came up after 12 months of speculations as Amazon kept delaying the launch date.
Known as Just Walk Out technology, Amazon took 4 years to create the system which lets a shopper scan the phone on entering the store, pickup the required products from the shelves, and automatically get charged for the correct amount after leaving the store; this diminishes the need to stop at a cash counter, thus making purchases easier and faster. Amazon believes that this would raise the bar for shopping in offline/physical stores in the same way Amazon Prime did for online shopping.
Predicting the success, this initiative would facilitate Amazon to get a better in-depth analysis of daily lifestyles of their customers and grab better marketplace in terms of food and beverage industry that still exists in brick-and-mortar stores. Considering more speculations, Amazon plans to add Amazon Go system having sensors and cameras to the Whole Foods stores that it owns now, although it could possess a bigger technological challenge.
If Amazon opens these stores in LA, it will again mark the most recent example of Amazon using LA as the city to experiment new products and services. LA was the first city where Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service was launched after nurturing it in Seattle for 5 years. Amazon also plans to expand the business to a new shipping service in Los Angeles itself that would be a rival for shipping tycoons like UPS and FedEx.
News of the planned enlargement of this concept is sure to raise eyebrows related to various societal challenges that tend to occur with the type of automation Amazon is developing. Especially with no requirement of a physical cash counter for payments, there would be no cashiers in these stores.
According to the Department of Labor, there were around 3.5 million cashier jobs throughout the US in 2016. Walmart is also making efforts to make some identical technology that would stamp out the need of cashiers as reported in Recode.
Though there are no cashiers, some employees would be present within the stores to prepare fresh meals in an exposed room visible to the customer, Also present would be a greeter at the entrance and an employee specifically positioned to check customer IDs at the liquor department.