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Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports


The smallest Amazon Go store to date has opened in downtown Seattle.

The new retail site covers just 450 square feet of floor space, making it a quarter the size of the first Amazon Go store that opened in the same city in January 2018.

The compact cashier-free store is on the sixth floor of the Macy’s building, where Amazon has office space. For now, Amazon’s newest and smallest Go store is merely a test site and can only be used by Amazon employees and their guests, according to the Seattle Times.

Amazon Go lets you simply grab your items and leave without having to waste any time at a checkout. The store uses an array of sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence technology to track each customer as they shop, with purchases automatically charged to their Amazon account when they leave.

Besides the new compact store, Amazon Go currently operates seven sites across the U.S., with its first overseas location expected to open soon in London, U.K.

The arrival of the smaller format follows recent reports that the company is considering opening Amazon Go stores inside airport terminals, which could prove popular with time-pressed travelers rushing to catch a flight. Compact Amazon Go stores could also be set up inside places such as train stations, office buildings, and college campuses.

Amazon is also thought to be looking at taking its Go format to locations much larger than its current sites, and may open stores with floor space of several thousand square feet. Larger Amazon Go stores would of course be able to stock a much wider range of items beyond the current snacks, drinks, and other basics offered by its current locations. Such a move could also hint at a much bigger ambition to incorporate its checkout-free technology into its Whole Foods stores, though that’s likely to be a ways off, if it happens at all.

Amazon certainly seems to be considering a range of possibilities for expanding Amazon Go beyond the current format, no doubt mindful of competitors’ growing interest in the technology.

With Amazon Go currently operating in only three cities — Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco — there are plenty of people yet to experience the joy of walking into a store, taking what you like, and walking right out again (legally!). Digital Trends made a shopping trip to the very first Amazon Go right after it opened in Seattle at the start of the year.

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Trevor Mogg
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