Just Shop and Walk Out - Wait…What?

April 18, 2018
Written By: Walda Woods

A hot trend to quite literally hit the streets of Seattle is a new concept for on-the-go shopping.

Pick up what you need and run out of the store – no cashiers, no lines.

That’s right, folks.

It’s an actual brick and mortar store called Amazon Go

Technology has taken a huge step for the consumer and so far, the response has been phenomenal. The quintessential dream shopping trip for those troubled by long checkout lines and fumbling for cash or credit.


Simply download the app and set up your virtual Amazon account. Scan your iPhone or Android on the way in, pick up your items and out you go. Within minutes, Amazon will charge your account and send you a receipt. You can use one of their bright orange reusable shopping bags or just toss everything into your purse.

Or, if you’re feeling a bit scandalous, you can quickly glance to your left and then to your right, grab a sandwich and a drink and flee out the front door.


Not a single repercussion.

Amazon isn’t willing to share much about their “Just Walk Out” technology, but once your phone is scanned, a master sensor follows you through the store and can detect when something is taken from (or returned to) the shelves. Items are then dropped into your virtual shopping cart.

So, what does this innovative new treasure-trove sell?

Wonderfully convenient items, such as ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, made in-house or locally. And from the ever-popular on-the-run stuff like bread and milk to artisan cheeses, savory crackers and decadent chocolates. One of the store’s most popular items is the Amazon Meal Kit, which includes everything you need to prepare a meal fit for a king and a queen in about a half hour!

I’ll bet you’re wondering if there’s anyone actually “minding the store”.

Well, the answer is an emphatic “Yes!”. There are food preppers, shelf stockers, greeters who hand out the reusable sacks and just plain ol’ chaps at the ready if you need help or have questions. Oh, and whether it’s just a bottle of Bud Lite or some fancy Dom Perignon, we can’t forget about the guy who checks IDs near the alcohol.

This first “automated” shopping experience has become one of the top sights to see while in Seattle, right up there next to the very first Starbucks. The 18,000 sf store is compact enough to hold thousands of items and still allow plenty of browsing room.

And located smack-dab on the sidewalk, enormous windows allow passersby to see the kitchen staff preparing meal kits and assembling the many tempting snacks and desserts that will soon adorn the beckoning shelves.

It’s the same satisfaction we get from watching Angelo stretching, flipping and tossing pizza dough in the front window of his pizza joint between Broadway and Riverside in NYC.

So, it appears that Amazon Go has certainly been able to get everyone’s attention.

The question is, will this trend actually catch on? Or will it lose its legs just as quickly as it hit the ground running (amazing pun)? Is the technology mistake-proof? Will consumers miss the personal interaction they get from their favorite cashier?

One thing we do know is that Amazon has been one of the global leaders in its dynamic and ever-changing technology runs.

Its innovative movements in revamping the retail shopping landscape have been swift and unsurpassed.

So I guess if anyone can make a go of this “looks like you’re shoplifting but you’re really not” experience, they certainly can.

What’s next? Automated pets? Children? Partners?

Hey, that last one sounds interesting… Stay tuned.

Walda Woods

Walda Woods spent many years in the corporate world as a mid-level executive in the telecommunications and deregulated energy arenas. She now spends her time as a freelance writer and editor. Originally from Boston, MA, she currently lives in Topeka, KS to be near her family. Her unique blend of personality, humor and values is sprinkled throughout her writings and keeps her audiences coming back for more.

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