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Amazon Opens First large-scale Cashierless Grocery Store

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) opens its first full-size cashierless store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill on Tuesday, in line with its strategy of expanding its Main Street presence. The first full-size 10,400-square-foot Amazon Go grocery store is just a few miles from the tech giant’s downtown headquarters, and adds to the smaller 20-plus Amazon Go stores dotted scattered around major US cities.

The company will stock 5,000 different products ranging from fruits, household goods, packaged seafood, to a full liquor selection with wines and beer.  The cashierless store is outfitted with sensors, cameras and computer vision, which mean cashiers are not needed. A few staff are used to stock shelves and answer shoppers’ questions. Customers pay for goods by scanning a QR code from their Amazon mobile app at a turnstile.

Amazon’s strategy of entering into $900bn US grocery industry is a shot across the bows of established players such as Walmart, Kroger and , 7-Eleven.

“We’re just getting started here. 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, Cameron Janes,” vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division said.

Amazon has previously bought Whole Foods for $14bn along with making same-day grocery delivery a free perk for Prime members last year in an effort to expand the penetration in the grocery industry.

Amazon was looking to launch a cashierless store in 2017 but the company took years to get the complicated cashierless technology right.

Rival, 7-Eleven recently launched a cashierless store near Irving, Texas, although this store is currently open only for 7-Eleven employees for testing. Walmart is also planning to open a cashier-free store in Dallas.

AMZN Amazon.com, Inc. daily Stock Chart

Valued above $1trn, market analysts believe Amazon is in a better position to test new technologies without thinking about profitability compared to Walmart and other players. Amazon generated revenue of $84bn in the latest quarter. Its share price has soared 23 per cent over the past twelve months.

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Based in Saudi Arabia, Siraj has a strong understanding of and passion for accounting and finance. He has worked for international clients for many years on several projects related to the stock market, equity research and other business, accounting and finance related projects. Siraj is a published financial analyst on the world's leading websites including SeekingAlpha, TheStreet, MSN, and others.