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Amazon to open more cashier-less stores this year

23 February 2018 Inc plans to open more cashier-less stores this year, according to a report.

Recode reported yesterday that the e-commerce giant is considering locations in Los Angeles and hometown Seattle, where the first Amazon Go store opened last month. The report cited people familiar with the situation.

According to commentators, Amazon Go is the most ambitious effort by the company to change the way people shop. It comes in response to the challenges faced by the $550-billion convenience store industry.

It forms part of the company's larger brick-and-mortar initiative, which includes a stepped-up push into groceries with the Whole Foods Market acquisition as also the opening of about a dozen book stores in such cities as Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Customers need to download a smartphone app to enter an Amazon Go store, and scan a QR code to open a glass turnstile.

Shoppers in a group scan the accountholder's phone once for the entry of each person and sensors will associate them with that account.

Machines take over from there watching the items plucked from shelves and adding them to a shopping cart. Shoppers are billed once they leave and if there are any mistakes or the customer is not happy with an item, customers can push a ''refund'' button to have that item removed from the bill. Shoppers do not need to return an unwanted item to the store to get a refund.

Amazon worked on the system - dubbed Just Walk Out Technology for four years. The technology allows shoppers to scan their phone upon entrance, pick up the items they want off the shelf, and automatically get charged the right amount after exiting without having to stop at a cash register to pay.

According to commentators, the move is aimed at making convenience store trips even faster. It is expected to raise the bar for brick-and-mortar shopping in much the same way that Amazon Prime did for online shopping and delivery.

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