The future is here. Amazon confirmed this week to CNN that it plans to open an Amazon Go store in New York City. The company posted job openings for the new store online last week, sparking questions from the media. Along with purchasing Whole Foods, this is the company’s second merge into a brick-and-mortar business plan. Amazon did not confirm where or when the New York Amazon Go location would open.
How Amazon Go Works
Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle this last January. The stores give users the ability to log into the app and scan themselves at the entrance. Users then do their shopping around the store. The store monitors shoppers with a combination of cameras and sensors to take inventory of what each individual shopper picks up around the store. The store then updates each individual shoppers Amazon Go app with an itemized list of the items they picked up, allowing them to leave without having to go through a checkout process. Users are charged for their goods through the app, just as they are with many other Amazon services.
The Amazon Go store uses advanced technology to also determine whether or not users put back or return items they do not want. This reduces the risk of overcharging users for items they did not actually buy or wish to return. The store uses a combination of consumer habits, cameras and sensors to determine what a user picks up in the store. For example, if a consumer has previously picked up a specific brand of paper towels in the past above other brands, the technology will know to charge the user for that brand based on their history. The company is also using a combination of different sensors, called sensor fusion, to create accuracy.
Amazon Go will also integrate ready-made items into its available products for convenience. Just as its other company Whole Foods does, the store wants to focus on providing fast and healthy options to its consumers in urban areas. The prepared foods will range from sandwiches and salads to meal kits that consumers prepare from home.
No cashiers means a huge upgrade for the consumer. However, it leaves many in fear of the future of our job market. Studies show that cashier positions make up as much as six percent of the total employment in the United States. A cashier-less society would put our economy at risk because so many of those jobs are entry-level positions that generate income for lower-income families. Amazon Go plans to combat this issue by providing jobs in food prep, ID-checking for alcohol purchases, management and stock positions. It’s hard to say whether or not that would make enough of an impact, though.
A spokesperson for Amazon has not commented further on the New York Amazon Go location. The company has confirmed that it plans to open one in the future. Check out the promotional video for Amazon Go below.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.