Amazon and Starbucks ponder launching coffee shop with cashierless tech

Amazon and Starbucks have held preliminary talks over launching a co-branded coffee shop that uses Amazon’s cashierless tech, Business Insider reported.

The new coffee shop would sell both Starbucks branded drinks and Amazon’s own-brand food sold at Amazon Fresh stores.

The two companies were supposed to launch a proof-of-concept store location last year, however the pandemic has caused the plan to fall behind schedule.

The project, named “Verde”, was designed to offer consumers the opportunity to purchase craft beverages and Amazon’s assortment of bakery goods and hot foods without needing to queue up in line and wait to pay.

Plans shared with Business Insider show the initial layout of an Amazon Go Store (Amazon Fresh’s US equivalent) within a cafe with lounge seating.

The target audience for Verde is reportedly “time-starved professionals” between the ages of 25 and 45 who live in “densely populated urban cities,” the document said.

READ MORE: Amazon commits to zero-carbon shipping fuels by 2040

One of the potential sticking points in the documents shared was that consumers would need to use two different apps to purchase items – Starbucks’ app for the drinks and Amazon’s app for the food.

While this is the plan at its current stage, the two companies want to work to build and integrated solution.

“Our plan is to launch a co-located store, where customers can enjoy handcrafted beverages at a Starbucks café, and/or pick up delicious grab & go food from Amazon Go, without waiting in line,” the document read.

“We expect Verde to have its own branding, with elements from both Amazon and Starbucks.”

Amazon’s roll out of its cashierless tech in the UK has picked up pace, with the company opening its sixth Amazon Fresh store in the UK in Dalston, after only opening its first this year.

Despite this, the stores currently remain largely unprofitable on the whole, according to people familiar on the matter who spoke to Business Insider.

It’s unclear when the new store will launch, and it’s possible the two companies could ultimately decide not to move forward with the project, one of the people said.

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