Late last year we noted Amazon’s efforts to ‘disrupt’ the traditional grocery retail model by introducing small format stores that allow customers to simply walk in, pick up what they want and walk out. The concept store, dubbed AmazonGo, tracks a customer’s every move, including each item they remove from store shelves, allowing them to skip long, often frustrating, check out lines (see: Amazon Goes Offline With Bricks-And-Mortar Grocery Chain; Envisions Opening 2,000 Stores).
Now, after nearly a full year of testing their Seattle concept store with employees, Amazon says their cashier-less grocery store is just about ready to go live. As Bloomberg notes this morning, the company has already begun hiring construction managers and marketing staff to build out a store base.
The e-commerce giant unveiled Amazon Go last December, saying it planned to open the store to the public early this year. However, the company encountered technical difficulties and postponed the launch to work out the bugs, The Wall Street Journal reported in March.
Seven months later, challenges remain, but the ‘just walk out’ technology has improved markedly, says the person, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the project. And in a sign that the concept is almost ready for prime time, hiring for the Amazon Go team has shifted from the engineers and research scientists needed to perfect the platform to the construction managers and marketers who would build and promote the stores to consumers.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 15, 2017.