STORE SPACES

Amazon Go takes Manhattan, offers new payment option

BY Dan Berthiaume

Start spreading the news – Amazon Go has opened in New York City, with a surprising twist.

Amazon’s 12th Amazon Go store, located at Brookfield Place in downtown Manhattan, is the first outlet of this cashierless store model to open in New York. According to CNBC, the New York location is the first Amazon Go store to accept cash payments. The store does not contain any cash registers, but store associates with mobile devices can check out cash transactions.

The roughly 1,300-sq.-ft. store is located next to the World Trade Center. In addition to the New York store, there are currently three Amazon Go stores located in San Francisco, as well as four Amazon Go stores each in Seattle and Chicago. Amazon may open as many as 3,000 cashierless Amazon Go locations across the US by 2021.

The New York store is accepting cash as an increasing number of municipalities, including San Francisco, are considering a ban on stores that do not accept cash. Consumer advocates say cashless businesses effectively discriminate against poor customers who don’t have access to credit or bank accounts. According to an internal corporate memo, Amazon Go stores will reportedly begin accepting cash payments at an unspecified future date, reported CNBC.

The Amazon Go store model eliminates the need for human cashiers, or cash payments. Cameras equipped with computer vision and facial recognition technology, as well as automatic sensors, keep track of the items customers take from shelves. 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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