Amazon is opening is second Go store in downtown Seattle this morning. The new Go will be slightly
bigger smaller (UPDATE: initial reporting on the second location was incorrect. Turns out the store is smaller.)than the first location, and will feature the same cashierless. technology that allows customers with the Amazon Go mobile app to walk into the store, grab what they want and leave without having to wait in line or stop to pay.
We loved shopping at Amazon Go and even named the store as one of our FoodTech 25 companies that are changing the way we eat. The seamless experience points to an inevitable future where high-tech cameras, sensors and computer vision all work together to make every grocery trip faster and checkout line free.
While Amazon would still be considered the leader in cashierless shopping, the landscape for the technology is more crowded since the first Go store launched in January. Cross-town rival Microsoft is reportedly working on such technology and chatting with Walmart about putting it to use in the retail giant’s stores.
Then there are smaller startups coming to market hoping to disrupt Amazon’s disruption. Zippin just unveiled its cashierless software platform and is set to open up in San Francisco next month. Israel-based Trigo Vision is piloting its software, which the company said can already scale to a full-size grocery store. Others such as Caper and AI Poly are also launching their own solutions.
Cashierless checkout certainly isn’t a zero sum game. There are plenty of retailers in the world looking to create a more efficient (and profitable) buying experience for customers. But for the time being, Amazon is definitely the pioneer. Its first-mover status gives it plenty of data and real-world experience to iterate faster than its competition.
In addition to the two Seattle locations open now, Amazon is opening up new Go stores in San Francisco and Chicago. And, lest we forget, Amazon owns Whole Foods, giving the company access to a network of full-sized retail locations in which to experiment and scale.
For those in Seattle who want to shop at the new Go store, you can find new the Seattle Central Library at 920 Fifth Ave.