Amazon launches zero checkout store

Amazon has opened a 'queue-free' grocery store in the US

Online shopping giant Amazon has opened its first physical grocery store in the US, which allows consumers to pick up their purchases and walk out, without queuing to pay at a checkout.

Shoppers at the Seattle, Washington store are automatically billed for their purchases through their Amazon Prime accounts and special mobile phone application (app).

Sensors track when a customer enters and leaves the store and records which items are taken off the shelves – or placed back on the shelf if a customer changes his/ her mind.

The 167m2 store stocks ready meals and staples such as bread and milk. It is currently only open to Amazon employees, with plans to open it to the public early next year.

2,000 of the stores

It is understood that Amazon plans to build 2,000 of the stores across the US, depending on how successful the test location is.

A spokeswoman from the British Retail Consortium said many British retailers will be studying the launch closely.

“Retail is a highly innovative industry and nowhere is this more true than here in the UK, so doubtless some aspects of this trial will one day find their way into British high streets – we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Amazon said: “With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”

The new store follows the launch of Amazon’s Fresh service in the UK, that allows consumers to order groceries online to be delivered to their homes.

The service is available in 69 central and east London postcodes offering 130,000 products. The company said it would consider roll­out plans across the UK.

130,000 products

Speaking at the City Food Lecture in 2014, Amazon UK vice president Doug Gurr said the company would roll out a service like Amazon Fresh or Amazon Go across the US first.

If successful, an international expansion is “inevitable”. While this was true with Amazon Fresh, no plans have been announced for the ‘queue-free’ stores to be opened in the UK.

You can view Amazon’s launch advert for the new store below.

Meanwhile, a new one-­hour grocery delivery service launched by Morrisons and Amazon will build the supermarket’s business as “a food maker and shopkeeper”, said its boss David Potts.

Extending the partnership forged earlier this year, the new one-­hour delivery service – branded Morrisons at Amazon – will see thousands of grocery items sourced from the retailer delivered to selected areas of London and Hertforshire.

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