Amazon Go, Amazon’s futuristic convenience store, is expanding outside its first location in Seattle. Shoppers in Chicago and San Francisco will soon have the opportunity to walk into a store, load up their shopping bags and “just walk out.”
Since its January launch, Seattle shoppers with the requisite bank-enabled Amazon Go app visit the store, shop the aisles of typical convenience store items plus prepared Whole Foods meals and walk out without breaking stride to swipe a credit card.
Walking out of the Amazon Go store — with products in hand, and without any kind of monetary transaction — feels uncannily similar to shoplifting. But don’t worry, every item placed into an Amazon shopping bag is tallied accordingly on the shopper’s app, and items returned to the shelf are removed from the shopper’s digital cart. The store enables plenty of security: A network of hundreds of cameras placed discreetly around the store monitor shopper activity, The New York Times reported.
Although Amazon Go has eliminated cashiers, it hasn’t entirely eliminated the need for humans. Store employees are present to help shoppers locate items, restock shelves, prepare ready-to-eat meals and check IDs for shoppers buying alcohol.
Amazon is reportedly planning to expand to four additional cities by the end of 2018, according to Recode. As the futuristic shopping trend takes hold of U.S. consumers, buyer beware: The threat of overspending is high. Tossing items into a shopping bag without seeing a total at the register can give shoppers the illusion they’re on a spending spree. To bridge the disconnect between goods and actual money, shoppers should enter with a budget in mind and rely on simple addition to tally up their total spend.
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