Amazon is planning to bring its signature checkout-free technology to full-size supermarkets according to new documents which suggests it wants to eliminate cashiers altogether.
According to Bloomberg, Amazon is building a full-sized supermarket which will be fitted with its high-tech automated checkout technology, which until now has only been available in smaller Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores.
The tech, which uses a blend of AI-powered cameras, shelf sensors and advanced algorithms to track what an individual shopper puts in their basket and charges their accounts automatically, has until now only been able to handle a smaller number of shoppers.
However, according to planning documents for a new supermarket in Brookfield Connecticut, Amazon has solved the technical and financial issues keeping it from rolling out this technology on a larger scale.
The new supermarket will include around a dozen entry and exit gates where shoppers can swipe their smartphone to pair their Amazon accounts and begin shopping, before being billed automatically when they exit through a designated gate.
Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, which has recently been introduced to the UK through three Amazon Fresh stores in London, can be installed in stores of around 2000sq ft with around a dozen devices.
Fully sized supermarkets can span up to 50,000sq ft, a space that would require hundreds of high-tech tracking devices driving installation costs through the roof, meaning the cost benefits of not having to employ cashier staff are eliminated.
The new Connecticut store is understood to be around 34,000sq ft, with a sales floor spanning about 20,000sq ft, almost three times the size of its current largest store utilising the technology.
It also has around 320sq ft of space set aside for server racks and other electrical equipment and two conventional checkout counters.
Amazon has made no secret of its plans to disrupt the physical grocery sector, and this latest milestone will come as a stark warning to established supermarkets.
Many are understood to be working on similar cashierless technology, but are thought to be years away from roll-out.