Amazon opens first full-sized cashier-free grocery store in Seattle

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

It’s been a little over three years since Amazon launched its first cashier-free convenience store. The concept took a big leap on Tuesday with the launch of Amazon’s first full-on Go grocery store in Seattle. The 7,700-square-foot facility at 610 E. Pike Street in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood isn’t just a bigger version of the convenience store, however.

Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail & technology for Amazon, said it offers a much more expanded selection that caters to what people are looking for when shopping for groceries. “What Amazon Go did for central business districts — like locating it very close to where people work so you can get breakfast, lunch, snacks — Amazon Go Grocery does the same thing, but closer to home,” Kumar added.

The executive wouldn’t tell GeekWire how many more Amazon Go Grocery stores are in the works, where the next one will be built or if they will all be the same size but one has to think that this isn’t a one-and-done run. Amazon is simply too invested in the physical retail space now, what with its 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods and all.

Locals can check out the new Amazon Go Grocery store from Sunday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.

All images courtesy Kurt Schlosser, GeekWire

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I wish they had more details on it. What do you do when you find a double billing or an incorrect price or other issues? How do they stop "tail gaters", that is people that try to slip in the door with or behind you? And how about if you take your kids? A lot more information needs to be shared with the public ....
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Imagine a company only opening shops in the US



This post was made by the UK gang
TBF, not only is the US still the world's largest market, amazon likely wasn't opening shops because of Brexit. They likely wanted to let that finally be settled one way or another before they tried to establish any kind of business model or supply chain for the country. I'll bet you'll be seeing them soon enough - or maybe Amazon will decide it makes more sense to target the EU or China since they are larger markets.
 
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OK, so I do see 1 problem with this, & that's the produce. Anyone who's actually shopped for produce knows 2 things:

1) Produce is never 100% uniform in size, shape...& most importantly weight. It's not an issue if you're buying pre-weighed bags (I.e. 2-lb bag of grapes, 3-lb bag of apples, 5-lb bag of potatoes, etc.)...but it's a big issue if you're buying them a la carte. Some people will buy the single large onion, while others might prefer 2 smaller ones, for example. Relying solely on the sensors & cameras to determine when items are moved into your shopping cart without knowing the weight of the items is going to be a hassle.

2) Some items at the grocery store are sold by weight, & some are sold individually. It's a toss-up over which way is cheaper for the consumer. However, while certain items are easily purchased individually -- heads of lettuce or cabbage, bell peppers, large onions, grapefruit, melons, spaghetti squash, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. -- a lot of produce is simply too small (or has a per-pound price too low) for it to be practical. When was the last time someone went to the store & said, "Oh, I think I'm only going to buy 5 individual grapes", or even said, "I just need to buy a single bunch of grapes instead of 5 bunches"?

I suspect that, however much convenience it might be for Amazon, this has the potential to be inconvenient for consumers...& since we're talking about a company readily associated with the Internet, they won't hesitate to torch them with horrible reviews online, & there goes Amazon's Grand Experiment...
 

lipe123

TS Evangelist
OK, so I do see 1 problem with this, & that's the produce. Anyone who's actually shopped for produce knows 2 things:

1) Produce is never 100% uniform in size, shape...& most importantly weight. It's not an issue if you're buying pre-weighed bags (I.e. 2-lb bag of grapes, 3-lb bag of apples, 5-lb bag of potatoes, etc.)...but it's a big issue if you're buying them a la carte. Some people will buy the single large onion, while others might prefer 2 smaller ones, for example. Relying solely on the sensors & cameras to determine when items are moved into your shopping cart without knowing the weight of the items is going to be a hassle.

2) Some items at the grocery store are sold by weight, & some are sold individually. It's a toss-up over which way is cheaper for the consumer. However, while certain items are easily purchased individually -- heads of lettuce or cabbage, bell peppers, large onions, grapefruit, melons, spaghetti squash, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. -- a lot of produce is simply too small (or has a per-pound price too low) for it to be practical. When was the last time someone went to the store & said, "Oh, I think I'm only going to buy 5 individual grapes", or even said, "I just need to buy a single bunch of grapes instead of 5 bunches"?

I suspect that, however much convenience it might be for Amazon, this has the potential to be inconvenient for consumers...& since we're talking about a company readily associated with the Internet, they won't hesitate to torch them with horrible reviews online, & there goes Amazon's Grand Experiment...
You think they would roll out a store without a solution? Seems a lil silly to say this has problems when they have already been doing it for 2 years.

This is certainly what the future is going to look like.
 
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You think they would roll out a store without a solution? Seems a lil silly to say this has problems when they have already been doing it for 2 years.

This is certainly what the future is going to look like.
So what is that solution, then? Because neither this article nor the GeekWire article touched on either point I mentioned.

But I guess you'd be fine paying the same price one day for an onion one week when the previous week you were able to get one twice that size, as long as "Amazon has a plan for it"...
 

Kyruss55

TS Rookie
OK, so I do see 1 problem with this, & that's the produce. Anyone who's actually shopped for produce knows 2 things:

1) Produce is never 100% uniform in size, shape...& most importantly weight. It's not an issue if you're buying pre-weighed bags (I.e. 2-lb bag of grapes, 3-lb bag of apples, 5-lb bag of potatoes, etc.)...but it's a big issue if you're buying them a la carte. Some people will buy the single large onion, while others might prefer 2 smaller ones, for example. Relying solely on the sensors & cameras to determine when items are moved into your shopping cart without knowing the weight of the items is going to be a hassle.

2) Some items at the grocery store are sold by weight, & some are sold individually. It's a toss-up over which way is cheaper for the consumer. However, while certain items are easily purchased individually -- heads of lettuce or cabbage, bell peppers, large onions, grapefruit, melons, spaghetti squash, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. -- a lot of produce is simply too small (or has a per-pound price too low) for it to be practical. When was the last time someone went to the store & said, "Oh, I think I'm only going to buy 5 individual grapes", or even said, "I just need to buy a single bunch of grapes instead of 5 bunches"?

I suspect that, however much convenience it might be for Amazon, this has the potential to be inconvenient for consumers...& since we're talking about a company readily associated with the Internet, they won't hesitate to torch them with horrible reviews online, & there goes Amazon's Grand Experiment...
Great Points! Maybe they have a scale under the produce bins that calculates the weight of the object by the reduction of the Bin's Total weight. I'm interested to see how it all works.
 

TheBigT42

TS Guru
You think they would roll out a store without a solution? Seems a lil silly to say this has problems when they have already been doing it for 2 years.

This is certainly what the future is going to look like.
Yes the first store was a test....But it is still the FIRST store that Amazon opened! It doesn't matter that it was a test.

By your logic the first store of any chain really isn't the first store because it is unknown if it will be successfull and thus a pilot store.
 
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TheBigT42

TS Guru
OK, so I do see 1 problem with this, & that's the produce. Anyone who's actually shopped for produce knows 2 things:

1) Produce is never 100% uniform in size, shape...& most importantly weight. It's not an issue if you're buying pre-weighed bags (I.e. 2-lb bag of grapes, 3-lb bag of apples, 5-lb bag of potatoes, etc.)...but it's a big issue if you're buying them a la carte. Some people will buy the single large onion, while others might prefer 2 smaller ones, for example. Relying solely on the sensors & cameras to determine when items are moved into your shopping cart without knowing the weight of the items is going to be a hassle.

2) Some items at the grocery store are sold by weight, & some are sold individually. It's a toss-up over which way is cheaper for the consumer. However, while certain items are easily purchased individually -- heads of lettuce or cabbage, bell peppers, large onions, grapefruit, melons, spaghetti squash, watermelons, pumpkins, etc. -- a lot of produce is simply too small (or has a per-pound price too low) for it to be practical. When was the last time someone went to the store & said, "Oh, I think I'm only going to buy 5 individual grapes", or even said, "I just need to buy a single bunch of grapes instead of 5 bunches"?

I suspect that, however much convenience it might be for Amazon, this has the potential to be inconvenient for consumers...& since we're talking about a company readily associated with the Internet, they won't hesitate to torch them with horrible reviews online, & there goes Amazon's Grand Experiment...

The produce is weighed, packaged, and priced before it is put out. You know like the meat department does.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Yes the first store was a test....But it is still the FIRST store that Amazon opened! It doesn't matter that it was a test.

By your logic the first store of any chain really isn't the first store because it is unknown if it will be successfull and thus a pilot store.
This store is 5 times the size. It's more or less their first "supermart". It's function is fundamentally different and thus noteworthy.
 
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More people should've paid attention to Yang's campaign. Automation will be devastating for the service industry and much of the blue collar workforce, and will even threaten white collar work in the future.
 

OortCloud

TS Evangelist
They are already far too dominant a player in retail. Starting to muscle-in on physical retail too, it's just too much for me. I would always try to shop elsewhere as competition is healthy and the way Amazon are going there wont be any.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
More people should've paid attention to Yang's campaign. Automation will be devastating for the service industry and much of the blue collar workforce, and will even threaten white collar work in the future.
The thing is, no one is sure if UBI will work. If you expect the number of taxpayers to decrease while significantly increasing spending, you are going to have a problem. You are essentially looking at increasing taxes on the rich and ultra-rich as they are the one's reaping the profits from automation. Of course, given the ultra-rich's power, I doubt that will happen. You are looking at an ever increasing gap between the rich and everyone else.

Of course, the problem is if people don't have jobs and aren't paying taxes, they probably aren't buying much either. This is turn means less profit for corporations (which is why a healthy middle class is very important). Somehow other jobs will have to be created for these people loosing theirs.
 

toooooot

TS Evangelist
Has anyone stolen anything yet, can you give a feedback if it was hard or easy? I would die to have an access to free organic fruits and vegetables.
 

toooooot

TS Evangelist
If I see one nearby, I would rather go to one with cashiers. But hats my personal choice.
Also, unrelated but I felt like saying it: Jeff is an extremely cold hearted and selfish person.
He even opened a charity when people started to say this comparing him to several other very wealthy people.
 

RobertW

TS Rookie
Seattle? Weaksauce. I dare them to open one in Chicago.

I'd also like to see automated bars and restaurants. When I go out, I don't want to have to talk to little people. And tipping them? Ridiculous. You don't have to tip a robot.
 
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RobertW

TS Rookie
More people should've paid attention to Yang's campaign. Automation will be devastating for the service industry and much of the blue collar workforce, and will even threaten white collar work in the future.
I work in automation. My goal is have a robot replace 50% of service jobs; that is a reasonable goal since some service jobs are difficult to reach, such as plumbers. You can't stop it. You shouldn't want to. The economy will always evolve according to the principle of unlimited wants. Don't fear the future.
 

OortCloud

TS Evangelist
I work in automation. My goal is have a robot replace 50% of service jobs; that is a reasonable goal since some service jobs are difficult to reach, such as plumbers. You can't stop it. You shouldn't want to. The economy will always evolve according to the principle of unlimited wants. Don't fear the future.
Robo-Plumber... the mind boggles...
 
I work in automation. My goal is have a robot replace 50% of service jobs; that is a reasonable goal since some service jobs are difficult to reach, such as plumbers. You can't stop it. You shouldn't want to. The economy will always evolve according to the principle of unlimited wants. Don't fear the future.
Yang never said we should fear the future or automation. He just said we should have universal basic income for people and job retraining because there won't be enough low skilled jobs in the future as they'll be replaced by automation.
 

RobertW

TS Rookie
Yang never said we should fear the future or automation. He just said we should have universal basic income for people and job retraining because there won't be enough low skilled jobs in the future as they'll be replaced by automation.
Automation reduces the price of goods making more money available for consumers to spend on other things. These other things are, literally, the definition of a growing economy. There is no evidence that the economy would not continue to do this, which is what it has always done.