After more than a year of testing with an employee-only focus group, Amazon Go, the retail – mostly groceries – store with no checkouts opened Jan. 22 in Seattle.
"We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line," the company wrote online. "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."
Hundreds of cameras and sensors in the 1,800-sq.-ft. store track shoppers' movements and detect when someone has taken an item off a shelf (they also detect when it's been put back). Items will be added to a virtual shopping cart. If you walk out with the items, your Amazon account will be charged.
All you need is an Amazon account, the free Amazon Go app and a recent-generation iPhone or Android phone.
The retail space is "conveniently compact, so busy customers can get in and out fast." It offers grocery essentials like bread and milk, artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates, and ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options "made by our chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries." For dinner, "pick up one of our chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, with all the ingredients you need to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes."
The store is in the north end of downtown Seattle, Amazon's home town, not far from Pike Place Market. It's open 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday.
It's not without human employees: A handful of associates works in both the kitchen and the store to prep ingredients, make the ready-to-eat items, stock shelves and help customers.