Amazon’s Go Or Amazon No?
Amazon Go | Silvertoad, Luton

Amazon’s cashier-less store, known as Amazon Go debuted in Seattle on Monday.

We’ve heard stories of customers hesitating when passing through the store, unsure and unsettled as if they’re about to be transported to another planet! Well who can blame them? With the fully automated cashier-free shop, Amazon have created a place for anyone who wants to see what it feels like to shoplift…but without breaking any laws of course!

So how does it work? Customers who don’t want to use self–checkout machines download the Amazon Go app, scan their phone at the gate on the way in and proceed through the store, placing anything they fancy into their complimentary Amazon bag. You don’t need to use a cart or basket, because there’s no staff to scan anything. The store uses cameras and sensors which track what has been taken off the shelf and the system then automatically debits your account when you leave.

“I just walk out?” Correct! A clerk whose main responsibility in the store is to help people usher themselves through the gate has been responding to this question non-stop. The clerk usually responds with the following ‘there are signs all over the store which literally say “Just Walk Out,” and they mean it.’ Now of course the store has employees, for example people restocking shelves and answering questions, but none sit at a traditional checkout. The alcohol section features a single employee checking IDs, however it’s the only thing that gets checked in the store. Unlucky kids!

The entire back wall of the store is devoted to grab and go meals, from turkey wraps right through to a simple salad! This is ideal for workers as they can simply run in the store and back out in a matter of seconds without having to queue.

So is this the future for shopping as we know it? We’re not sure, automation and efficiency is really great and has helped us become more advanced. But maybe automation can go too far and in some cases, it’s not really needed? We wonder the same old question when something new like this hits, is this for our benefit as the consumer or simply a way for already wealthy corporations finding ways to make even more money at the expense of breaking down basic community and communication, not to mention jobs of course, but that’s a whole different matter.