By Brian Thomas –
The online giant Amazon continues its move to establish brick and mortar retail stores to expand its physical presence, including one planned for Irvine.
The company, which owns Whole Foods stores, is making great strides in the retail grocery space with its Amazon Go store, in which customers use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, select their items and simply walk out of the store without the traditional check-out process. Customers are charged for their items via the app. The company’s proprietary Just Walk Out technology utilizes cameras mounted on the ceiling, computer vision technology and weight sensors to track items purchased. According to an Amazon spokesperson, via email, this is not the concept coming to Irvine.
“This new store is not an Amazon Go. This store will have a conventional check-out experience.”
The first Amazon Go store – a prototype convenience store – opened at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters in January of 2018. Over the next 18 months the company opened more than 20 Amazon Go stores in metropolitan areas including New York and San Francisco, and in other cities with high-density residential and business centers. The concept offers a mix of ready-to-eat items and snacks, as well as grocery items, with each store averaging about 2,000 square feet.
Last month Amazon announced that it will partner with other brands, offering its Just Walk Out technology. The first announced is OTG, a hospitality group with stores located in airports.
The company also announced plans for a larger version of its Amazon Go stores – about 5 times larger – and a wider variety of items including produce and meats.