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No Carts, No Cashiers: Amazon Opens Brick-And-Mortar Convenience Store

Jan 22, 2018
Originally published on January 23, 2018 8:37 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Amazon opened a brick-and-mortar convenience store in Seattle today, and it's a good guess you haven't seen one quite like this before. There are no cashiers, no checkout lines at the store called Amazon Go. We asked Simone Alicea of member station KNKX in Seattle to scope it out.

SIMONE ALICEA, BYLINE: I head out about 9:30 in the morning. I download the Amazon Go app while I walk, entering the information for my Amazon account.

I'm going cross the street safely. Opening it up. OK. It says Amazon Go. Welcome to Just Walk Out Shopping.

I have to update my credit card information, and then I'm ready to go. I'm here looking for lunch, and it's almost like they read my mind. I find sandwiches from a local bakery directly in front of the entrance.

And there's a little station for brown bags, although they were giving out reusable bags at the door. I didn't grab one.

Then I head out.

All right. Since I have my lunch, I'm going to scan out. And I don't even have to scan. I just walk, I think. Yeah.

And that's it. My receipt comes on the app, and it tells me my trip was 2 minutes and 55 seconds. Many of my fellow shoppers are Amazon employees. They've been able to shop here for about a year while the company's been testing the store. You can tell someone has just been in if they have a telltale orange bag, like Annie Ng. She's from LA and is visiting Seattle on vacation. When she saw the news about Amazon Go, she thought it might be worth checking out before she left.

ANNIE NG: It was good. I mean, we expected a line of people to kind of go in there and check the place out. And luckily, we came in and there's no one. I guess it's what we expected.

ALICEA: She spent about five minutes in the store to buy a chocolate bar. For her, it was convenient, especially as a tourist who was already downtown anyway.

NG: I would definitely make it a stop, but I wouldn't make it a destination.

ALICEA: No word yet on Amazon Go popping up in other cities. For NPR News, I'm Simone Alicea in Seattle.

(SOUNDBITE OF HIM'S "ELEMENTALS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.