Inside the New Amazon Go in San Francisco

Have you heard about those cashier-less convenience stores called Amazon Go? They have no checkout and no lines. Currently, there are three such stores in Seattle and two in Chicago. So when I heard the online giant opened one in San Francisco, I knew I had to Go!

I recently visited the 2-week-old store at its first California location on 300 California Street in San Francisco. (Another San Francisco location around the block on Post Street is scheduled to open this winter.)

At this location, you can get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and grocery essentials. They also carry exclusive Amazon Go-branded merch, like reusable bags, Theo Chocolate bars, and ceramic mugs imprinted with their Just Walk Out slogan.

So, you’re probably wondering…

  • Was it really easy?
  • Do you really just walk out after shopping?
  • Could you get all your meals from there?

Yes, yes, and yes (oh, how I wish I still worked in the area)!

grab n’ go: a large selection of fresh and healthy food

Since there’s no checkout, there’s no checkout line. However, there was a short line at the entrance made up of people downloading the app and asking the security/greeter person how this store works.

It’s simple:

  1. Download the app
  2. Scan the barcode at the turnstile
  3. Put phone away
  4. Shop
  5. Just walk out

I only wanted to test it out, so my first trip took all of 3 minutes and I “just walked out” with one item.

I see you, too: in order to update your cart, ceiling cameras watch your every move
this is the one item we selected

I must admit I felt a little uneasy as I walked out. I felt like I stole something! But within minutes, I got an email with a receipt featuring a picture of the item I purchased, which was reassuring!

I’m kind of a Luddite, so I’m usually a late adopter of new technology, but I could get used to these cashier-less stores!

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