Amazon Reportedly Planning 3,000 Cashier

Amazon Go, Cashierless Store Of The Future, Has Some New Competition

Go Grocery uses the same technology as Go stores, which it’s also planning to license to other retailers. Shoppers scan a smartphone app that’s linked to their Amazon account when they enter.

Upon entering Go, customers scan a smartphone app that registers them into the store. After choosing their items, customers are free to leave the store, as the app handles the payment transaction. In announcing its debut, initially called ‘Just Walk Out,’ Amazon said QuickBooks the experience is driven by the same technologies used in self-driving cars, sensor fusion and deep learning. Still, the lack of cashiers — of which there are more than 3.5 million in the US — is notable when you consider that Whole Foods has around 500 stores.

The basic technology behind Amazon Go hasn’t changed with the launch of the grocery concept. Cameras in the ceiling work with sensors underneath shelves to track shoppers as they walk through the store, detecting when items are taken off shelves. Once an item is removed, it goes into a virtual cart and shoppers can walk out without going through a traditional check out — the bill is paid via credit card through the Go app. A year ago, the e-commerce giant opened a cashierless convenience store called Amazon Go, marking its biggest effort yet to change the way people shop in the physical world.

The store stocks items such as rice crackers, bottles of green tea and other sundries. With the same electronic payment card used for rail fares, shoppers tap in when they enter the store. At the exit, they stand in a highlighted area and can check their purchases on a screen before tapping out. Japan’s retail market is potentially an exciting market for automated checkouts; for example, there are more than 55,000 convenience offering snacks, drinks and packaged food, as well as banking and delivery services. They often struggle to find clerks, and have increasingly hired non-Japanese to stock shelves and ring up purchases.

Heavyweight oil stocks also performed well as oil prices extended Friday’s rally and climbed higher after Iran said that gaps remain in negotiations aimed at reaching a deal to end US sanctions on its crude. Iran said there are still differences around the timing of when countries will return to compliance with the original 2015 nuclear agreement, allaying some concern about a rapid ramp-up in the Persian Gulf nation’s output. While the market is anticipating the Islamic Republic’s supply will pick up again by late summer, the demand recovery will be strong enough to absorb it, according to Goldman Sachs. The bank expects Brent futures to hit $80 (£57) a barrel in the next few months. Dominating the bottom of the rankings and dragging on the index, however, were miners including Fresnillo, Antofagasta, BHP and Evraz. Elsewhere among companies, shares of FTSE 250 software firm Kainos fell 25p to £13.87 despite saying its annual pre-tax profit more than doubled in an eleventh consecutive year of growth, surging 124pc to £57.1m in the year through March.

Cameras And Sensors

But Amazon isn’t alone in its quest to make grocery and retail shopping as quick and seamless as possible for today’s consumer. As Retail Customer Experience reported just this past week, China’s BingoBox is already several steps ahead of Amazon on advancing the unmanned retail front, with plans to expand internationally. The 1,800 square foot Amazon Go Seattle store features both classic convenience store items like chips, soda, condiments, and beer, and Whole Foods staples like salads, prepared meals, sandwiches, and baked goods like muffins and cookies. “This is the future of checking out for convenience and grocery stores,” Gene Munster, head of research at Loup Ventures, told Reuters. It’s not yet known how soon this technology could be available, if at all, Reuters noted.

  • The company has said it will only associate information collected in-store with a customer’s Amazon account for up to 30 days, and has further details about how it uses the data on its privacy site.
  • According to a 2018 National Retail Federation survey, American retailers lose nearly $50 billion annually to theft.
  • “It’s important not to discriminate against any consumer,” Lipsman said, and these autonomous stores need to have a cash option.
  • The company has opened two dozen locations across the U.S. in a variety of smaller formats, with most not much bigger than the average convenience store.
  • The company also has a history of developing technology that it uses internally before rolling it out to the public and making it a profit driver — like cloud computing.
  • Although Amazon has services like Prime Pantry for selling bundles of household goods and a grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh, it would be immensely difficult and costly to scale those services to reach every grocery shopper in the country.

Walmartis not ceding this new shopping approach to Amazon, either, as the retail giant has been testing technology, including its “fast lane” app-based checkout in Canada, and other systems being tried within its Intelligent Retail Lab effort. Walmart’s Sam’s Club has already successfullydeployed scan-and-go shoppingtechnology. Legislation in New Jersey and Philadelphia has banned cashless checkout systems, and similar bans are being considered in New York City. AiFi uses a “sensor fusion” technology that combines data from sensors to increase the accuracy of tracking a product, and also uses camera technology to track what items are removed from the shelf by which individual. Founded in 2016, the idea for Grabango, a CNBC 2019 Upstart 100 list company, was sparked by developments taking place in the autonomous vehicle industry and increasing applications of machine learning and computer vision.

The Future Of Retail

But while the concept is similar, things have changed with the addition of fresh produce. Amazon says it had to update the machine learning driving its system to account for things like multiple customers grabbing different fresh food items, or fridge doors fogging up after being left open. Customers can select and place items in the store, and the costs are automatically deducted from their e-wallet.

Gu said that he understands this concern, but his company has solutions to repurpose jobs. “It’s important not to discriminate against any consumer,” Lipsman said, and these autonomous stores need to have a cash option. “I do think that those automated stores, especially the small format, will become very widely popular due to its accessibility, very easy to move, and very easy to fit into different places,” Gu said. I think there is a universal agreement that this is the new 21st-century shopping experience.

Amazon Go, Cashierless Store Of The Future, Has Some New Competition

One is the complexity of such new technology, which Amazon discovered very quickly in its Go pilot as its tracking technology initially couldn’t handle more than two dozen shoppers in the store. “Just Walk Out technology enables shoppers to simply enter a store, grab what they want, and just go,” the website said. As automated stores begin opening their doors, many have raised concerns about the possibility of tech replacing human workers in retail jobs. While some argue that AI will lead to new types of jobs for displaced workers, other say that it will destroy more jobs than it creates. Microsoft is going head to head with Amazon, developing checkout-free retail technology of its own.

In fact, the store does source a number of its items, including some produce and meat and other fresh food, from Whole Foods suppliers. But Amazon’s store offers other products, like Kellogg’s breakfast cereal and Coke products, that you won’t find at Amazon’s higher-end, organic-focused subsidiary. Gu said that what we think of today as stealing will be the act of buying from an automated store, “because we have so many cameras in the store that will be able to track who is grabbing what in real time.” “When you know every product in the store and you track the product as they’re selected and they make their way toward the exit, you know where every product is, and you know which product is paid for and which ones aren’t,” Radlow said.

While Amazon’s stores are still something of a novelty, customers may balk if and when this sort of surveillance-like technology becomes the norm. The setup and installation of the system can take as little as a few weeks once Amazon has access to the retailer’s store, Amazon says.

According to a 2018 National Retail Federation survey, American retailers lose nearly $50 billion annually to theft. With more than 30 employees, AiFi is still in the start-up phase and is looking to continue to grow its technology and the company. “When you have a strong leader in the market like Amazon, it creates a level of cultural awareness that can help kind of set the market,” said Andrew Lipsman, principal analyst for eMarketer. “And then you have other providers who are enabling the technology to compete with Amazon, so very quickly you can see how the whole market will move quickly over the next two or three years.”

Russell 2000

A retail cashierless checkout experience, which likely ignites ‘Jetson’ cartoon images in the minds of shoppers decades older than millennials, is no longer a futuristic development on the horizon. While Amazon preps to expand Amazon Go, its cashierless retail shopping strategy, Berkeley Research Group leader Keith Jelinek offers insight on what’s ahead with cashierless checkout and why consumer response is a key part of potential success. Amazon won’t say whether it plans to make more Amazon Go locations, or license Amazon Go, Cashierless Store Of The Future, Has Some New Competition its technology to other stores, so this could potentially be a one-off. The company does say it has no plans to use the system at Whole Foods though, so don’t get you’re your hopes up on that front. The Amazon Go store’s entrance features a row of electronic gates, similar to a subway station. To enter, you need a smartphone with the store’s app, which you scan at the gate to enter. And when you leave the Amazon store, you’re billed not by a cashier, but by the app, a few minutes after you’ve already exited.

Users need to download the Watasale app on their phone and then log in with their email address and phone number. The application provides a QR code as an identifier and a “ticket” for the company. Mr Kambara, 52, started his company a decade ago after working at Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s tech department. Signpost’s main business is consulting, but the goal from the beginning was to develop a cashierless register, he said. After years of experimenting with putting sensors inside shopping carts, engineers switched to machine learning to build their image-recognition system. So far, Signpost is winning over customers like Chiaki Chushi, who recently picked up a drink at the Akabane station kiosk.

Amazon Go, Cashierless Store Of The Future, Has Some New Competition

Much of the fruits and vegetables come from the same suppliers at Whole Foods, Janes said. And it has products from the Whole Foods store brand 365, such as organic oatmeal and bagged baby carrots. But it also sells Oreos, Cheez-Its and other stuff banned from the natural grocer. “I love the convenience of literally grabbing and going” said Art Kuniyuki, a payroll and benefits manager from Seattle, who spent $15 on Barilla pasta, Dove chocolate and other groceries shortly after the store opened. Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.

Amazon Is In Talks To Bring Its Cashierless Go Technology To Airports And Movie Theaters

“So you have a very strong accounting for the movement of merchandise, and so the concept of theft really vanishes because you’re constantly charging for products in an automatic fashion.” Near the exit of the stores is a screen that bookkeeping displays the customer’s grocery list to them as they leave, free of the checkout process. Aside from wages, a group of Amazon employees this week called on the company to be a role model for corporate action fighting climate change.

Last week, AiFi said Carrefour, the French retail giant, and Żabka, a Polish convenience store operator, had committed to testing the technology. Walmart Inc. (No. 3) has been testing Go-style technology, and Kroger Co. (No. 86) and Microsoft recently announced a joint venture to bring elements of the e-commerce shopping experience to the grocery store. With retailers hopping on the cashier-less bandwagon in an effort to attract time-crunched shoppers, Amazon Go, the tech giant’s convenience store concept, looks to be well poised to capitalize on the trend, with sizable growth potential and appeal. As well as its existing chain of cashierless convenience stores, Amazon’s latest bricks-and-mortar endeavor complements its book stores, 4-star outlets and Whole Foods groceries under its physical retail umbrella.

Customers also can visit an in-store kiosk if they want a printed receipt, Amazon says. Although Amazon has services like Prime Pantry for selling bundles of household goods and a grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh, it would be immensely difficult and costly to scale those services to reach every grocery shopper in the country. That’s why Amazon has been investing in brick-and-mortar retail in the first place.

This may be the first of more than 3,000 grocery stores Amazon is reportedly planning to open over the next few years. The store also doesn’t serve hot food or beverages even though customers are free to heat up its assortment of refrigerated meals, sandwiches and snacks in microwaves in the sitting area. No worries—even the nondescript shelves have sensors to detect such an error so you won’t be charged, an employee said. Immediately after you exit the area, itemized receipts will show up on your app in case you want to review.

But the idea of providing cashless checkout conflicts with proposed regulations on cashless stores by some state and city officials, who argue that such businesses discriminate against people who don’t have bank accounts. Amazon hasn’t spoken publicly about its position on such legislation, but it did send a letter to the city of Philadelphia stating a ban would impact its decision to open new stores in the city. The AI that controls the Amazon Go environment follows each customer, noting each item taken and any that may be put back, so no errors are made and there are no charges for products not brought home.

Amazon Offers Cashierless Tech To Rival Retailers

It is the biggest Go store by far, at nearly five times the size of its largest existing Go location. The new store will feature more than 5,000 products, including dairy, packaged seafood, fresh produce, and meat. It will also stock baked goods, household products, and a wide array of beer, wine, and liquor. Others are taking a different approach, aiming to offer customers a bit of high-tech convenience without the expense of shutting down the store for a retrofit to install cameras and sensors.

Author: Matt Laslo