Published: Tue, December 04, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Amazon is planning to open bigger automated stores

Amazon is planning to open bigger automated stores

Your future grocery store is on its way: Amazon aims to bring its cashierless technology to bigger stores in upcoming years.

Amazon Go, Amazon's store where you can pick your items and automatically check out, is operating locations in Chicago, Seattle, and San Francisco.

Amazon is testing larger version of its automated Amazon Go brick-and-mortar stores, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, meaning you could potentially do your weekly grocery shopping without interacting with another human being. The test is said to be a potential trial run for cashierless checkout at Whole Foods, the grocery store chain Amazon acquired previous year for more than $13 billion, though the actual objective remains unclear.

Higher ceilings and shelves, and a bigger product range means it could take more time for Amazon to get the technology right, which now works well for smaller stores.

It is unclear whether Amazon intends to use the technology for Whole Foods, although that is the most likely application if executives can make it work, according to the people.

When Fortune asked for comment on the WSJ report, Amazon said it doesn't "comment on rumor and speculation". An average Whole Foods has 34,000 items.


Existing Amazon Go outlets are only the size of a small convenience store.

Some Whole Foods customers say they don't want to see the cashierless checkout system at a chain known for its high quality of customer service.

Inside of Amazon's Go stores, products are systematically placed on shelves full of indicators that are easily recognized by computer vision systems. In late September it was reported that Amazon is considering opening up to 3,000 Amazon Go locations by 2021.

To use Amazon Go, customers scan an app-generated code on their phones as they walk in, then pick up what they want and leave without stopping to check out.

"It would be convenient not to wait in checkout lines", he said.

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