Amazon Opening Up Grocery Stores With No Cashiers

in LeoFinance2 years ago

Amazon is a fresh off a win against unionization in one of its locations in Alabama. Even though the results are being contested, whatever happens, will make little difference.

Messing with Amazon is not going to result in more secure jobs. It is that simple. This company is at the forefront of automating their systems to reduce employment as much as possible. This is a company that has a goal to have automation from order to delivery. That means no humans, union or otherwise.

We might about to see some of this progress.


There is no doubt the grocery business is ripe for disruption. It is a low margin business yet one that is vital for people. Thus, if a company can automate the process, it will either lead to healthier profits or reduced costs. At the same time, it might enhance the shopping experience for people.

According to Bloomberg, there is a new grocery store going into Brookfield, CT. The owner of the store is a secret with nobody revealing the name. However, it does not take too much investigation to figure out who is behind this.

Plans show that the layout is similar to the Amazon Fresh locations which are already popping up throughout the country.

Planning documents for a store under construction in Brookfield, Connecticut, contain all the hallmarks of an Amazon Fresh grocery store: a two-word logo on dark gray panels above the store’s entrance, online order pickup counter and such full-service departments as a butcher. The plans also identify a dozen entry and exit gates as well as ceiling-mounted racks to run wiring to camera arrays, a setup that until now has only appeared in Amazon Go convenience stores.

Amazon is denying this is their store. Instead, they are claiming they are creating thousands of grocery jobs.

This might be the case but that is only because they have no figured out how to automate said jobs. If the presumption of this store is true, it is likely a technology that will be rolled out across the entire country. Amazon stated in the past that they have the initial goal of 3,000 grocery stores.

The company also said at times that it would be willing to license its technology out to its competitors.

So now Amazon is going to potentially eliminate jobs at other grocery chains?

The entire concept is to use technology to eliminate the need for checkout. There is no scanning, self service or by an employee. Instead, one's app is swiped when entering the store and whatever is put in the shopping cart is added up. Upon exiting the store, the total is charged to the person's account.

There are rumors that Amazon is working on technology that will do this simply by reading someone's palm print.

The irony of all this is the timing.

Amazon's union fight make national news. Like most disputes in that arena, things turned ugly. There are accusation of improprieties and calls for a new election.

What is missed in all this is that people are dealing with an entity that has a ton of money and is willing to spend it on R&D. Their goal is automation at every level if they can.

So, while they are one of the leading companies in job creation and new hires, much of this is due to the expansion of their operations. They are building new warehouses and stores at a rapid pace.

The company has 37 more Fresh stores planned to be opened throughout the country. One of the big challenges to cashierless stores is tracking what is done in the stores and ensuring items are properly charged for.

Amazon appears to have solved a significant technical challenge, creating a grab-and-go system that can handle scores of shoppers at once and cover large supermarkets without being prohibitively expensive to build and operate. The breakthrough, if it works, would catapult Amazon ahead of rivals, which are testing similar camera-based technology developed by various startups. Executives at these companies have acknowledged that they are perhaps a year or two away from installing cashierless systems in full-sized supermarkets.

If Amazon can construct and operate this stores without prohibitive expense, this certainly would give it a leg up on the competition. Then the question becomes how quickly can they build these stores?

Of course, another question is what else are they working on? We would have to believe this is just the start of things. We already see other grocery chains using robots to scan shelves for items that are low in stock or mispriced.

It would not be surprising to learn that this company is working on something that is even more advanced than this.

Isn't it interesting that the first picture even shows how they automated the question process in the store. It is safe to imagine kiosks like that will handle most customer service questions. We also could believe that most of the details of where things are likely can be found on the app.

Since we already saw automated floor cleaners in other retail chains, it appears that humans are quickly being relegated to stocking items on shelves and probably unloading the boxes as items come in off the trucks.

We might seriously be only a year or two away from seeing grocery stores with very few employees in them.

If this is effective, bet the ranch others chains will do whatever they can to follow suit.

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It is a good development and the business world is now moving towards automation. But as we reduce the dependence on human being, there are high chances of messing up with buying experience. When the stores are without cashiers the possibilities of fraud will grow up too.

With all the cameras and tracking, it actually decreases it.

A bunch of cameras can see what people cannot.

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i saw this post about a pizza vending machine the other day and thought about you!

robots are sure one way to stop the unions from forming🤖

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The unions have a tough time with automation. This was seen in the automobile industry. For years the UAW fought the against automation, trying to save jobs. In the end, it was fruitless. The jobs were automated out.

So I dont see how the scenario has changed any. The unions are fighting an unstoppable animal.

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If this happens, will small businesses be able to survive? I don't think so unless the automation devices are cheap enough for the to buy and maintain. Either way I wonder whether or not people will actually go to these stores in the future since I fully expect most people to just buy things online and have it delivered right away.

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Either way I wonder whether or not people will actually go to these stores in the future since I fully expect most people to just buy things online and have it delivered right away.

That's a good point... I've been doing most of my shopping online lately and I think this will be the trend

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In the grocery industry, are there any small businesses left?

All the grocery stores I see are chains. Even the small, one step up from convenience stores are chains.

I think they were destroyed long ago.

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In Asian, there are plenty online grocery stores (operate by farmers or small online stores). Customers pick the time of delivery (normally when they are off work). Online grocery stores uses delivery services to deliver fresh grocery to the customer just before customers start cooking their dinners.

I don't know if any countries with high labor fee and tipping culture would adopt this, but small grocery industry still well alive in Asia.

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I think we talked early about this, but here it is much more explained and in accordance with what is up here it will be very important to closely follow what is proposed behind the scenes amazon with all this, usually when they make a movement it is because they contemplated 3 or 4 more variants in benefits that are not noticeable at first glance, hopefully in the best of cases there will be no collateral damage!

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There are always unintended consequences. That is unavoidable.

We are going to see some fallout from this. The most obvious being the elimination of jobs, especially entry level.

These are the types of jobs that teenagers often enter the workforce with and get some experience.

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Yes, and days ago we commented that this working class was already being whipped since 2008 so it seems that it has become hungry with the desire to eat! a recipe for disaster!

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Personally i believe that the adaption of automation at various fields of everyday life, makes humans weak to the events taking place.Until the 21st century there was no doubt that humans were the main factor which made market working.Because the had the power the could host protests so they can change their workplace in order to fit their needs.If automation takes over humanity won't be able to change the events because we won't have the power in our hands.Plus,depending on one specific technology makes the user of it sensitive to attacks or other undesirable events.A example could be a house which is powered only by electric devises, and suddenly a electric cut takes place.

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Self check out at the grocery stores or supermarkets is nothing new, even where I live. Although I find it a bit dystopic to not see a single employee in the whole supermarket, but maybe that's just me

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Self-checkouts are nothing new. It's also clear that automation will advance much further from here in the coming years. Job creation is the problem or else people are going to have to live on welfare.

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Job creation is the problem or else people are going to have to live on welfare.

Or we are going to have to have a completely different economic system.

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UBI has entered the chat :P

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Distribution based on participation or stake. Sounds much like working for a living or earning capital gains to me.

A new development in buying and selling
But I have two points to comment on:
We are still security men behind the cameras
This bodes badly, which is dwindling employment opportunities

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Its good for consumers and the company. Consumers can buy with ease and the company will save on manpower costs but this will also contribute to the job cut. Technology is evolving and this is great but the only concern is about employment.

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Technology is evolving and this is great but the only concern is about employment.

I wouldnt say it is the only concern, there are others. Mass surveillance, for example, is one that jumps out at me.

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 2 years ago 

When I think about this, the more I believe the $15/hr minimum wage is irrelevant. There will be no more “low skill” labours left for people.

$15 an hour would be a rip off for most professions when automation takes over the menial tasks.

The question is, how will people adapt?

Job destruction in a nutshell. They may be improving security and delivery time for the customer, but they are also destroying jobs. Also some system that forces you to pay only in a certain way in these stores is also applicable, and if you don't have that payment method you simply can't buy, it can become a monopoly and people would be allowing it if they keep buying in this place.

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You say low margins but believe me the margins are much higher than you could even imagine. I also thought like that until I saw the profit margins involved and this is still a good business to invest in. Having no staff makes it a no brainer, I say no staff but there will be some ,but more like a skeleton crew who do more than one jo wearing lots of caps.

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 2 years ago Reveal Comment

That is possible.

Of course, the reason why monopolies exists is because, as they are forming, we keep going to them.

If people would spread their shopping around, then it would hinder Amazon some.

But most just go to and buy.

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 2 years ago Reveal Comment
 2 years ago Reveal Comment

It is going to be interesting to see what happens with this. You are right, we are going to see a lot of localized food I believe.

That is where things will shift. Of course, Walmart is everywhere and Amazon seeks to be also.

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