Amazon opens largest checkout-free store

Amazon has opened its first full-size, cashierless grocery store.

The Amazon Go Grocery store in Seattle covers approximately 10,400 square feet and sells about 5,000 items, including fresh produce, dairy products, meat and seafood, bakery items and household essentials as well as a full range of alcoholic drinks. The store also includes a self-service coffee bar, CNBC reports.

Amazon already operates around two dozen convenience stores based on its checkout-free technology under the Amazon Go name, but the new store is on a much larger scale.

Customers need download the Amazon Go app and then scan the QR code from the app at the gate to enter the store. According to Amazon, its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. Items can be placed in bags or shopping trolleys, and customers simply leave the store when they have selected all they need.

Amazon then sends the customer a receipt and charges their Amazon account.

Before the first Amazon Go store opened to the public it spent over a year in test phase, for use by Amazon employees only, as the company worked to fine-tune the technology.

Making sure the system could track shoppers picking up and bagging their own items was the “biggest incremental challenge … to enable customers just to shop and not have to worry about the technology,” Cameron Janes, vice president of Amazon’s physical retail division, told CNBC.

The news provider reported previously that Amazon was looking to extend its cashier-free technology to other retail locations, including cinemas and airport shops.

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