Tag: Amazon Go

Source: MyBroadband

In 2016, Amazon unveiled the “future of shopping” with its Go store.

The store does not require shoppers to go through a checkout point – you walk in, pick what you want from the shelves, and walk out.

Everything is tracked by computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, and customers are automatically billed via their Amazon account.

The first store was launched in Seattle, USA, and offered ready-made meals and grocery items.

“We created the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line. No lines, no checkout,” said Amazon.

In late 2018, Amazon has expanded its Go stores to other areas in the USA and they are now being called the “inevitable evolution of supermarket retail”.

Engadget stated that Amazon Go is “a natural extension of existing retail trends”, and added that Amazon plans to open 3,000 Go stores by 2021.

Not in South Africa
While shoppers used to visit a butcher for meat and then travel to a hardware store for tools, today’s customer can buy these items from a single outlet like Makro – or visit a shopping mall where different types of shops are grouped together.

This was a natural progression which made it easier to shop. The argument for cashierless stores is the same, since walking in, taking what you want, and walking out makes the life of the shopper easier.

In South Africa, however, it is unlikely that this technology will roll out to retail chains such as Pick n Pay or Checkers in the foreseeable future.

The reason for this is that the initial job losses that would be suffered by cashiers and store staff would not be tolerated by workers’ unions.

This was proven in 2016, when Pick n Pay trialed a self-service checkout at a store in Cape Town.

The system was set to be tested for six months, and the company would see how it benefited consumers before taking the next step.

Cosatu was quick to pressure the company into not expanding the self-service trial; however, as the union stated at the time that it would lead to job losses.

Fast forward to 2018, and Pick n Pay told MyBroadband there have been no developments to the system, with no plans to take it forward either.

Cosatu told MyBroadband it is still “bitterly opposed” to the self-service checkout system, as it will decimate much needed jobs in the country.

“Our unemployment statistics are shocking and we are not going to allow the reckless introduction of mechanisation and automation,” said Cosatu.

It stated that it will fight the introduction of these systems in South Africa, and it is opposed to “technological ‘solutions’ that are imposed with no regard for local economies and cultures”.

With workers’ unions wielding the power to strike and protest, and local companies known for backing down against unions on a regular basis, it is unlikely that Amazon’s “future of shopping” will land in South Africa any time soon.

Amazon.com said on Monday it has opened a brick-and-mortar grocery store in Seattle without lines or checkout counters, kicking off new competition with supermarket chains.

Amazon Go, the online shopping company’s new 1,800-square-foot (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,” says 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 says.

The S&P 1500 food retail index, which includes Kroger Co, Whole Foods Market Inc and other companies, was down 0.5 percent at the close. Shares of Amazon closed up about 2.6 percent.

Amazon Go is available now for employees of the company and is expected to be open to the public early next year, Amazon says.

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 says.

Amazon declined to comment on the report.

“The checkout lines are always the most inefficient parts of the store experience,” says Neil Saunders, managing director of retail research firm Conlumino. “Not only would you save a lot on labor costs, you actually would make the process much quicker for consumers and much more satisfying.”

Still, the grab-and-go experience would take getting used to, he says.

Some people may “feel like they stole” an item, Saunders says.

Apart from groceries such as bread and milk, the store also offers ready-to-eat meals made fresh by on-site chefs and local kitchens and bakeries, Amazon says.

That would make Amazon Go a potential competitor to fast-casual dining chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc as well.

Amazon Go is not the first physical store for the e-commerce company to open.

It has a book store in Seattle, as well as pop-ups at malls where it displays Amazon devices such as the Kindle.

Source: www.businesslive.co.za

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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