Amazon.com Inc. has opened a brick-and-mortar grocery store in Seattle without lines or check-out counters.
The move kicks off new competition with supermarket chains, Reuters reports.
Amazon Go, the online shopping company’s new 167-square-meter store, uses sensors to detect what items shoppers have picked off the shelves and sends a bill to their Amazon accounts if they do not replace them.
The store marks Amazon’s latest push into groceries, one of the biggest retail categories it has yet to master.
The company currently delivers produce and groceries to homes through its AmazonFresh service.
“It’s a great recognition that their e-commerce model doesn’t work for every product,” said analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research, noting that physical stores would complement AmazonFresh.
“If there were hundreds of these stores around the country, it would be a huge threat” to supermarket chains, he said.
Amazon Go is available now for employees of the company and is expected to be open to the public early next year, Amazon said.
If tests are successful, Amazon plans to open more than 2,000 grocery stores, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources.
The company is considering other store formats, including one that would let drivers pick up goods at the curbside, the report said.
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