Amazon Aims at Office Workers with Compact Cashier-Less Food Store

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A smaller format Amazon Go store, which will be open to Amazon employees and their guests, is pictured in the Blue Shift Amazon office space in downtown Seattle
A smaller format Amazon Go store, which will be open to Amazon employees and their guests, is pictured in the Blue Shift Amazon office space in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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By Lindsey Wasson
SEATTLE (Reuters) 

Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday opened a compact version of its cashier-less Amazon Go food stores, broadening its footprint in the bricks-and-mortar world in a move to add shops in places such as office lobbies and hospitals

Located in one of the company’s Seattle offices, the eighth Amazon Go store is near the original and a quarter the size, at a mere 450 square feet. That is about the size of a New York City studio apartment. The new store is aimed at selling salads and snacks to office workers.

 

Amazon Go Vice President Puerini gives an overview of a smaller format Amazon Go store in the Blue Shift Amazon office space in downtown Seattle
Amazon Go Vice President Gianna Puerini gives an overview of a smaller format Amazon Go store, which will be open to Amazon employees and their guests, in the Blue Shift Amazon office space in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

 

Like Amazon Go stores operating in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle, the new store has no checkout lanes. Customers scan their smartphones to enter, cameras monitor what they take from the shelves, and Amazon bills their credit card on file after they leave.

Selling food in physical stores is a key strategy by the world’s top online retailer to win more business from shoppers. Gianna Puerini, vice president of Amazon Go, said the tiny format could serve office lobbies, communal floors inside tall buildings and perhaps a hospital.

 

Amazon Go paper bags are placed at a new smaller format Amazon Go store in the Blue Shift Amazon office in Seattle
Amazon Go paper bags are placed at a smaller format Amazon Go store, which will be open to Amazon employees and their guests, in the Blue Shift Amazon office space in downtown Seattle, Washington, U.S., December 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

 

“We wanted something from a design perspective that would fit nicely into open spaces,” Puerini said in an interview. “You can bring it in pieces and assemble it on site.”

She provided no details on when or where Amazon would add other small stores. The new Seattle location, on the 6th floor of the city’s historic Macy’s building, is only open to Amazon employees and their guests.

Puerini declined to comment on a Reuters report from last week that Amazon was looking to add cashier-less stores at airports. However, she said, “Airports have a lot of hungry people in a rush, so you never know.”

 

(Reporting by Lindsey Wasson in Seattle; Writing by Jeffrey Dastin; Editing by Leslie Adler)

 

More photos ahead …

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