• Michelle Hebert

Amazon opens checkout-free store in Seattle

On Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, Amazon opened the first checkout-free store to the public, and the store is located in Seattle, Wash., multiple sources reported. Amazon tested the whole project with its employees about a year before the store opened, according to USA Today.

When a customer enters the store, they must scan the Amazon Go app. The app will be used in addition to sensors to pay for the items a person purchases. All of the sensors track a person’s movement and then charge them for the items they pick up. Customers can just walk out of the store once they are done; cashiers are not needed for the new technology.

USA Today reported, “The technology behind it, called Just Walk Out, is proprietary and Amazon is expected to keep its details secret while it tests it on a small but more varied customer set than the Amazon employees who've been using it.”

Amazon Go offers include groceries, ready-to-eat meals, cold drinks, and meal prep kits, according to CNN.

During the stores’ testing phases, company employees were allowed to shop at the store. An Amazon spokesperson stated, “volume of business from just Amazon employees turned out to be significantly higher than expected." The company was able to learn everything they needed to know just from their employees’ shopping habits, the spokesperson also mentioned.

The Amazon Go store concept was first announced in 2016, and it was planned to open in early 2017 to the public, CNN reported.