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How Amazon Go Grocery may work for consumers, but not market workers

Who wouldn’t love shopping at a store with no checkout lines? 

Walk in, pick up what you want, and just stroll out. Payment? Oh, the camera recorded everything you just did – you’ll get a bill when you get home. 

This is the enticing concept behind Amazon’s radical Go store, which opened in 2018 as a higher grade 7-Eleven type store aimed at office workers. 

Now, Amazon looks to take on the traditional grocer with a full-sized store and a selection of meats and seafood, fruits and vegetables. It’s basically everything you might want from a major supermarket minus the in-house florist, bakery and sandwich counter. 

I visited the first Amazon Go Grocery store, which opened Tuesday, in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle, an urban neighborhood in the heart of downtown, far from the suburban sprawl that’s home to many large mega markets. 

Like the earlier Go stores, in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Chicago, the Go Grocery has hundreds of overhead cameras and sensors, tracking your every move and marrying your selections to your Amazon account. When you exit, you get an e-mail receipt of your purchases. 

What’s different? More selection within the traditional market, although still way smaller than the usual supermarket, 10,000 square feet compared to 50,000 square feet and up, says industry consultant Britain Ladd. 

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