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Amazon Debuts its First Cashier-less Grocery Store

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Amazon is moving further into the grocery business with the opening of its first, full-size, cashier-less grocery store. Called Amazon Go Grocery, the store is nestled in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle near the Amazon corporate headquarters. 

Amazon has been working on this concept since 2015, incorporating the technology it first debuted in its cashier-less convenience stores. Shoppers can simply walk in, scan a QR code from their Amazon mobile app, then go about adding whatever they want to their baskets before walking out. No human interaction is required, though there will be staff on-site to help stock the shelves and assist customers.

The space is smaller than a typical U.S. grocery store, though it is stocked with all of the essentials capable of supplying kitchen cabinets and helping out with dinner. The new store is stocked with about 5,000 items, including fresh produce, meats, bakery treats, and household goods. They also offer a full selection of liquor, wine, and beer as well as a self-serve coffee stand.  

Some of the products offered at the store are sourced from Whole Foods, a grocery chain under the umbrella of Amazon’s ownership. Some products are sourced from other various national brands, including a variety of Amazon’s private labels like Happy Belly. 

Every item in the store is individually priced, including produce. Customers do not need to weigh their bags to check out, making the entire process a seamless experience. This is one aspect that remained of top importance for Amazon, as they want customers to be able to utilize the store without having to interface with any of its complex technologies. 

“We’re just getting started here,” Cameron James, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division told CNBC. “I think what we’re trying to do here — and with all of our physical stores — is really work backwards from the customer, and deliver some differentiation.” The Amazon Go Grocery location is the first of its kind, but the retail giant has plans to continue the expansion of its cashier-less stores throughout the country in the future. 

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