Amazon 'testing cashierless technology for bigger stores'

Amazon 'testing cashierless technology for bigger stores'

If you venture into an Amazon Go store, you're likely an early adopter who knows what to expect.

The online retail giant is experimenting with the technology in Seattle in a larger space formatted like a big store, the people said. The test is said to be a potential trial run for cashierless checkout at Whole Foods, the grocery store chain Amazon acquired past year for more than $13 billion, though the actual objective remains unclear.

Sources told the Journal that Amazon is testing out the futuristic tech - which tracks and charges for the items shoppers take from the shelves - in Seattle, in a space formatted like a large store. Prime members already receive exclusive discounts at Amazon's Whole Foods stores, so offering the benefit of avoiding checkout lines at some point in the future is not too outlandish.

When Fortune asked for comment on the WSJ report, Amazon said it doesn't "comment on rumor and speculation".

Existing Amazon Go outlets are only the size of a small convenience store.

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There are nearly 500 Whole Foods in the USA, although the chain does also have a small United Kingdom presence, with seven stores, all of which are in London.

Some Whole Foods customers say they don't want to see the cashierless checkout system at a chain known for its high quality of customer service.

The company is understood to be planning to have around 3,000 of the cashierless stores by 2021. Customers scan their phones when they enter an Amazon Go store and are charged as they leave.

Fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables that are often sold be weight are just some of the items that could be hard to accurately track.

The Amazon Go concept may be getting ready to go bigger.

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