Amazon is opening a new front in its bid to grow its grocery business, launching a brick-and-mortar store that has no cashiers and no checkout lines.
The Amazon Go store opened Monday in Seattle. Shoppers enter the store by scanning an app on their mobile phones, and then can simply put their groceries in bags and carts and leave the store.
The convenience store is equipped with cameras and sensors to detect what groceries have been purchased. Customers then are billed through their Amazon accounts when they leave.
“We want it to be effortless and magical,” Gianna Puerini, vice president for Amazon Go, told USA Today.
Meanwhile, there are more signs of serious growth in what is becoming a bigger part of Amazon’s business — shipping groceries to homes.
According to the Food Marketing Institute, online grocery shopping could be a $100 billion business by 2025 — the equivalent of the sales of about 3,900 grocery stores. Market researcher Pamela N. Danzinger, in a Forbes.com piece, notes Amazon’s current estimated $2 billion annually in food and beverage sales is about twice that of its nearest digital-grocery competitor, Walmart.
“With Amazon’s early lead in online grocery and its momentum growing thanks to the Whole Foods acquisition, Prime Pantry, Prime Fresh and its already loyal legions of Prime customers, Amazon is already way out in front of the online-grocery battle,” Danzinger writes.