Amazon today opened its second Amazon Go store in Seattle — just a bit earlier than the projected fall timeline that was reported last month. The opening is part of Amazon’s gradual rollout of its cashier-less convenience stores that are expected to launch in other cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Unlike the first location, the second Amazon Go store is smaller and will not feature a working kitchen or a liquor section. Designed to cater to office workers, the store will offer products like baked goods, ready-to-eat meals, and Amazon’s own line of Blue Apron-like meal kits. It has limited weekday hours: located on 5th and Marion in downtown Seattle, it will only operate between 7AM and 7PM Monday through Friday.
Amazon opened its first cashier-less store December 2016, which allows customers to enter the store by scanning a barcode on their smartphone app. From there, Amazon tracks the customer as they move around the store, and it bills items they take off the shelves directly to the account that was used to scan in, bypassing the need for a check-out cashier or counter. The company even boasted that the system was smart enough to distinguish between three Amazon employees who dressed up in Pikachu costumes to try to simulate a robbery.
The push into high-tech retail has caused rivals like Walmart to amp up its own offerings and solutions. Over the past year, Walmart began offering meal kits, it partnered with Waymo to offer customers self-driving car rides to pick up their grocery orders, and it began working with Postmates to expand its grocery delivery service.