Two years ago Amazon launched its ‘Amazon Go’ convenience stores. It now has 25 stores across the country in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York. These stores carry a limited selection of items focused on ready-to-eat meals and snacks. The stores use a ‘just walk out’ technology that allows consumers to pick up an item, place it in their bag, and then just walk out. No scanning or cashiers needed. All a shopper needs is an Amazon account and the Amazon Go app on their mobile device.
Now, Amazon has now expanded the concept into a much larger format called ‘Amazon Go Grocery’ in Seattle. With 10,400 square feet of space, the new Amazon Go Grocery store carries a larger amount of products, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, baker items, and household essential. The store also carries pre-made meals plus beer, wine, and spirits. The ‘just walk out’ technology is the same as Amazon Go, and uses the same app on mobile devices.
ne allows the entire family to shop together. Any item taken will be added to the account of the shopper who entered them. However, Amazon warns shoppers that if they grab an item from a top shelf to help another customer, they will be charged for it.
The stores have employees on-site to greet shoppers, restock shelve, answer questions, and help customers. However, cashier-less stores are coming under scrutiny from advocates and lawmakers who say these stores discriminate against people who do not have credit cards or bank accounts. (Amazon did change its policies to allow customers to pay with cash at its convenience stores and says the same will be true at the grocery store.)
Let’s go get groceries!
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: How much time do they estimate they spend in check-out lines on a store visit?
- How does this new concept fit with Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods?
- Information on the stores can be found at: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011
- Show video of the new store: https://youtu.be/lTzPpAbjasA
- What are the students’ opinions?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team list advantages and disadvantages of the new format.
- Does this technology have uses in other places?
- Does the technology give a competitive advantage to Amazon in the grocery industry?
Source: Associated Press; other news sources