STORE SPACES

Amazon doubles down on the Big Apple

BY Marianne Wilson

Amazon has expanded its checkout-free convenience store format in Manhattan.

One month after Amazon Go made its New York City debut, at Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan, the retailer has opened a location in midtown, at 300 Park Avenue. The 1,700-sq.-ft. store is Amazon Go’s 13th  U.S. location. According to the company’s web site, next up will be a site in the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco.

The new store  has a few different features than the typical Amazon Go, including offering brewed coffee and espresso drinks. Customers can whip up their own lattes, Cafe Americanos and mochas at a self-service kiosk.

In addition, the Park Avenue outpost, similar to the one at Brookfield Place, accepts cash, with store associates able to make the transactions on their mobile devices. (In April, Amazon  responded to growing criticism that cashless stores discriminate against the poor and underbanked by saying that it plans to start accepting cash at its Amazon Go stores.)

Amazon Go made its debut in January 2018, in Seattle. The store model eliminates the need for human cashiers or cash payments by utilizing a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. The company’s “just walk out” technology detects which products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When a shopper is ready to check out, they can automatically pay with a registered credit or debit card inside the Amazon Go mobile app.

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