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Technology/Services

Second Amazon Go Opens in Seattle

New store launches seven months after first

SEATTLE -- Amazon Go has sprouted another location, its second in Seattle, which opened to the public Monday morning.

The new store is similar to the first, with app-activated turnstiles at the entrance; cameras and sensors tracking customer and item movement; and a frictionless checkout process. But this time, there are different items on the shelves. The new location is 1,450 square feet—350 fewer square feet than the flagship location. As such, the new store has no beer or wine and no grocery staples such as bread and milk. Nor does it have an indoor kitchen. The store will receive fresh food from another Amazon kitchen facility in Seattle, according to a report from the Seattle Times, which toured the new Amazon Go ahead of its opening.

With a new location comes a new base of customers. “The population here is a little different,” Gianna Puerini, the Amazon vice president overseeing Amazon Go, said during the tour. The first location is closer to residential neighborhoods, while the most recent unit caters more to office workers. The shelves are stocked with nonperishable items such as candy, gum, drinks and grab-and-go oatmeal packs. The store will only open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Amazon will not reveal details about future stores at this time and has not responded to a CSP request for comment, but previous reports indicate plans for sites in Willis Tower and the Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago, as well as a location in San Francisco’s Union Square.

The announcement follows news of concepts competitive with Amazon’s smart c-store. Anderson, Ind.-based Ricker’s recently announced plans to roll out an app-based checkout service in all 58 of its convenience stores that allows customers to scan items with their mobile device and show the receipt on the screen to an employee before leaving. Elsewhere, Zippin, a startup with headquarters in San Francisco, has opened a “checkout-free” software platform similar to Amazon Go. Even big box retailers are looking into frictionless checkout. Walmart is reportedly in talks with Microsoft to develop its own version of no-checkout technology.

Amazon has also been silent concerning its plans on how it will bring its frictionless tech to market, but Matt Day, business reporter for the Seattle Times, suspects Amazon will keep the tech to itself. “The company earlier this year confirmed plans for Go stores in Chicago and San Francisco, indicating to analysts who track the company that Amazon planned to continue to build out stores using the technology itself, rather than license it to other retailers,” wrote Day.

Whatever Amazon’s plans for the future may be, the company is clearly improving its Amazon Go launch process. The first public store opening was delayed for an entire year while Amazon tweaked the store’s tech. This second location has opened about seven months after the first.

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