Amazon is opening a first-ever cashier-less grocery store today. It is a full-size 10,400 square feet store, which will open in Seattle, Washington, USA, from today. The store will offer around 5000 variety of items such as whole foods, dairy, meats, vegetables, alcohol, etc., to choose from. Cameron Janes, the vice-president of Amazon’s physical retail division, explained that the aim of this store is to offer whole foods and not to “replace them.”
Zero-Human Interaction with Amazon QR Shopping:
This news, of course, projects a tough competition on the grocery industry’s other brands such as Walmart, Kroger, 7-Eleven, Instacart, etc. The hard background work on this Amazon store commenced in 2015. Now that it is fully completed and ready to function, it offers the consumers options such as scanning a QR code of the desired item from their Amazon app and continue to add more items if required. Once they finish shopping, they can walk out of the store. Reports reveal that there will be zero human interaction in this new grocery shopping store.
Also, every item is priced individually. So there is no weighing required. The number of items one needs will be calculated at the time of payment.
The only duties of the staff will be to restock the items or to answer any queries of any consumer when needed. Janes explained further:
You are seeing a lot of big strides in [this] store. […] Produce is a big example of that. […] We are just getting started here. […] I think what we are trying to do here — and with all of our physical stores — is really work backwards from the customer, and deliver some differentiation.
5K Items to Shop:
There is no information by far on how many more such stores will be opened up. Amazon’s Seattle store offers a variety of 5000 items which includes thing like:
- Fresh produce
- Packaged seafood
- Bakery treats
- Household goods
The items are a mix of whole foods that come from various whole foods providers and other national brands and Amazon’s private labels too. In addition, the store also has a coffee bar, which is again self-service.
Special attention has been given by Amazon’s technology department to make the shopping experience user-friendly and to remove any kind of worry about the technological side.
Scope of experimentation in retail and online shopping for Amazon:
Despite the spike in online shopping, there are many people who still go to grocery stores. Statics reveal that only 3 percent of groceries are ordered online in the U.S., But Amazon doesn’t have to worry about it. The company, as experts say, is rather in a safe place where it can freely experiment with the retail sector without worrying about profitability. Reports reveal that Amazon has a market capitalization of 1 Trillion U.S. Dollars. A principal retail analyst from Forrester Research explained:
“Nobody in their right mind goes into grocery. It is low margins, with perishable food, and it’s challenging to scale. […] But there is nowhere we shop more than grocery stores. That is [Amazon’s] strategy. It does not need to be a profit generator.”
More opening in 2020:
The company is also going to open ‘first-of-its-kind grocery store’ in the Woodland Hills, reports reveal. This store will not have Amazon’s Go technology. It will not come under the whole foods category. The exact dates are not yet revealed.