Inside Amazon’s First Checkout-Free Grocery Store

Amazon employees have been putting the store through its paces, but is the public really ready for it?

Amazon, the American e-commerce giant, has opened its first artificial intelligence-powered ‘Amazon Go’ store in down Seattle, more than a year after the concept was introduced. 

The store is located on the bottom floor of company’s Seattle headquarters and will allow customers to scan their smartphone with the ‘Amazon Go’ app at an entrance turnstile, pick up the items they want and leave.

By combining sensors, computer visualisation and machine learning algorithms, the online retail giant can tell what shoppers have purchased and charges their account through the app. If someone decides to put an item back, they will not be charged as the in-store technology will pick up on it.

However, the store is not without employees – Amazon explained that there will be workers there preparing food, stocking shelves and helping shoppers. The store will offer snacks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. It will also stock staples such as bread, milk, cheese and chocolate.

The store is around 1,800 square feet and adds to Amazon’s growing store presence, along with its expansion into groceries after last year’s purchase of organic grocer Whole Foods and its 470 stores.

Amazon announced the store back in December 2016 and said it would open by early 2017, however the debut was delayed while it worked on technology and company employees tested it out.