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Amazon considering Go tech at larger stores reveals future of retail

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Whole Foods
Whole Foods could soon look much
different.

AP/Mark
Lennihan


  • Amazon is
    reportedly
    working on adapting its Amazon Go automated store
    technology
    to larger-format stores, according to a report
    from the Wall Street Journal.
  • The most natural fit for an application of this
    expanded technology would be Amazon’s own grocery-store chain,
    Whole
    Foods
    .
  • This new use case greatly expands the use of Amazon
    Go’s “just-walk-out” technology and realizes a future that
    retail has been gradually inching toward for years
    now.

Amazon
is constantly looking for quicker ways to get customers to part
with their money. 

After all, that’s the main goal of the technology used in the
company’s cashierless Amazon
Go
stores, which use advanced technology to track what
customers take, then charge them for it without making them wait
in line. 

Now Amazon is looking to expand the use of that technology to
larger stores,
according to a new report by the Wall Street Journal.
The
company recently started testing the use of the tech in a larger
space in Seattle, the Journal reported. An Amazon spokesperson
declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider Monday
morning. 

The most obvious use case for this would be Amazon’s own fleet of
grocery stores, Whole Foods, which are much larger than the
Amazon Go convenience stores the company has been opening in
cities across the country. 

While Whole Foods stores were an average of 40,000 square feet as
of 2017, Amazon Go stores have all been less than 2,300 square
feet — more convenience store than full-scale fresh
grocery. 

But that could change once Amazon is able to crack the code of
scaling the technology to spaces where there are more items for
sale, more people shopping, and just generally more information
to take in and process.

A cashierless future

Whether or not it happens in the next year or the next decade,
it’s clear where retail is going. Technology that allows
customers to walk out without having to check out has
proliferated this year, though without Amazon’s array of fancy
technology.

Retailers including Nike have implemented in-store technology
that allows customers to buy items with just a smartphone. It’s
not quite the neat plan Amazon has for its stores, but it has a
similar result: skipping the lines before the cashier.


Read more:

Take a look around Nike’s enormous new flagship store in New York
City, complete with the world’s largest for-sale collection of
Nike shoes

Nike
recently debuted what it calls “instant purchase” in its
new flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York
.
Customers use the Nike app to instantly purchase items, which
they can then take home from the store with no questions asked.
All they have to do is point the app at the item’s barcode. Small
kiosks are littered throughout the store, with bags for shoppers
to take and use as well as a place to ditch hangers.

Instant purchase is now rolling out to all Nike stores. It’s only
a matter of time before cashierless tech moves out of
sneaker-buying and into grocery-buying in a more meaningful way.

Exclusive FREE Slide Deck: Future of Retail:AI by Business Insider Intelligence

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