Amazon Tests Its Cashierless Technology for Bigger Stores

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Forward-looking: Waiting in lines within grocery and retail stores could be a thing of the past if Amazon is able to scale up its cashierless store concept.

The e-commerce giant is testing the system in Seattle, in a larger space laid out like a big store, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend, citing unnamed sources. The test is said to be a potential trial run for cashierless checkout at Whole Foods, the grocery store chain Amazon acquired past year for more than $13 billion, though the actual objective remains unclear.

Amazon's checkout-free system is already operational in certain Amazon Go stores, across Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco.

The Journal reports it is not clear if Amazon-owned Whole Foods is where the tech would be rolled out. Although the technology functions well in its current small-store format, it is harder to use it in bigger spaces with higher ceilings and more products, one of the people said, meaning it could take time to roll out the systems at more larger stores. Business Insider contacted Amazon and Whole Foods for comment.

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Grab-and-go style shopping within Amazon Go stores may be introduced to full size supermarkets and retail stores. Customers scan their phones when they enter an Amazon Go store and are charged as they leave.

Amazon Go stores are created to let you shop without a wallet or having to stand in checkout lines.

Amazon also has continued to improve the technology inside the Amazon Go stores that first opened to the public earlier this year. "We're new to physical space, but it's important for us", Dilip Kumar, Amazon Go's vice president of technology, told The Wall Street Journal on a recent tour.

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