First Amazon Go Grocery Store Opens to Public in Seattle

  • Amazon opens Amazon Go, an all-digital grocery store.

  • Amazon Go tracks consumers walking through their store and tracks what they pick up.

Amazon, Monday, opened their the first brick-and-mortar grocery store where no physical checkouts are required. Amazon Go has been in beta-testing with Amazon employees since 2016 and has just opened to the public. It was expected to open to the public more quickly but there were some teething problems with correctly identifying shoppers of similar body types - and children moving items to the wrong places on shelves, according to an Amazon insider.

Transactions in the store are all done digitally using Amazon’s “Just Walk Out Technology.” It uses hundreds of ceiling-mounted cameras and electronic sensors to identify each customer and track the items they select while walking through the store. Purchases are then billed to customers' credit cards when they leave the store.

Back in 2016, Foodable covered Amazon’s announcement of this concept and our experts chimed in on how these futuristic grocery stores could impact restaurant operators and their businesses.

“First and foremost, what a great wakeup call for our industry. If anyone in our industry is taking anything for granted, what a gift Amazon is providing us...Amazon knows how to deliver experience,” restaurant brand coach Rudy Miick, CMC, MA, said.

“In today’s market, people like convenience. Just like any business that offers a competitive product, there will be some loss of market share to restaurants. However, this is a great opportunity to model the process and fit it to your concept,” Andrew Carlson, consultant and author of Customer Service Is the Bottom Line, said.

The store offers pre-made meals, consumer packaged goods, Amazon Fresh meal kits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a bunch of average grocery items. As of now, Amazon has not said if it will be opening more Go stores, which are separate from the Whole Foods chain that it bought last year for $13.7 billion. Only time will tell what's next.