Amazon opened a new, bigger version of its cashierless Go stores in Seattle this morning, in a move that expands the store format’s footprint and capabilities.
The new Go Grocery is located in the city’s Capital Hill neighborhood is 10,400 sq. feet and carries 5,000 items. By comparison, up to now, the Go convenience stores have ranged between 450 and 2,700 sq. feet and stocked just 500 to 700 items. An Amazon rep told Bloomberg that Go Grocery is aimed more at apartment dwellers than the office workers other Go stores typically serve.
Just like it’s smaller convenience store bretheren, Amazon’s Go Grocery uses a series of built-in cameras and sensors to automatically monitor what shoppers pick up and keep, and charge them accordingly when they walk out of the store. However, the new version of this cashierless technology has been updated, allowing Go Grocery to expand and also automatically monitor the purchase of fresh items like apples and lettuce, which had been harder for computer vision and sensors to keep track of.
The opening of this high-tech new Grocery Go comes as Amazon is set to launch the first of its very own chain of full-sized supermarket stores in Los Angeles. While that format won’t include cashierless checkout, it will reportedly feature robot-powered micro-fulfillment for faster online order processing and delivery/pickup.
What’s interesting about the larger Go Grocery format opening in Seattle, is that it runs counter to some earlier reporting that Go stores function better at smaller sizes. As we wrote in September:
The Information reviewed an Amazon internal analysis document, which revealed that the ideal size for an Amazon Go store was 1,440 sq. feet (not including the entryway). The decision teams at Amazon faced was to figure out how to best design the store and offer the best selection of inventory to meet fill the space and hit the sales goal.
Evidently running 25 Amazon Go stores of various sizes across the country taught Bezos and Co. a whole bunch about getting more cashierless bang for your buck.
As Amazon’s continues to make aggressive moves like larger cashierless checkout formats, free two-hour delivery and its own line of supermarkets, we’ll have to see how this spurs on its rivals. Will this accelerate retailer adoption of other cashierless checkout systems from the likes of Trigo, Grabango and Caper?
Last year was one where cashierless checkout started emerging from stealth, as retailers publicly announced cashierless tech partners. We are two months into 2020, and Amazon has just fired off a loud shot announcing that the space isn’t slowing down anytime soon.