Amazon has opened its first cashier-less store, operated through artificial intelligence.
The new Amazon Go store opened on Monday in downtown Seattle, potentially beginning a transformation of the retail landscape as we know it.
To begin their shopping, customers must scan an Amazon Go smartphone app as they pass through the store´s entrance.
Amazon Go then depends on cameras and sensors to track what shoppers take from the shelves, enabling customers to be billed at the end of their visit through a credit card held on file.
The store combines computer vision, machine learning algorithms and sensors, doing away with cashiers but still relying on humans to stack the shelves.
Amazon Go builds on the group´s entry into physical US retailing that began in a meaningful way last year with its $13.7bn acquisition of US grocery chain Whole Foods Markets.
There is speculation that Amazon may attempt to complement the purchase of Whole Foods and its launch of Amazon Go with the acquisition of US discount retailer Target during 2018.
“Amazon believes the future of retail is a mix of mostly online and some offline. Target is the ideal offline partner for Amazon for two reasons, shared demographic and manageable but comprehensive store count," said Gene Munster, managing partner at Venture Capital firm Loup Ventures, in a research note.
Amazon shares have had a strong run, buoyed by strong financial results as well as positive sentiment on its takeover of Whole Foods. The stock has climbed 57% over the past year.