Amazon Says It's "Almost Ready" To Get 1,000s Of Grocery Store Cashiers Fired

Tyler Durden's picture

Late last year we noted Amazon's efforts to 'disrupt' the traditional grocery retail model by introducing small format stores that allow customers to simply walk in, pick up what they want and walk out.  The concept store, dubbed AmazonGo, tracks a customer's every move, including each item they remove from store shelves, allowing them to skip long, often frustrating, check out lines (see: Amazon Goes Offline With Bricks-And-Mortar Grocery Chain; Envisions Opening 2,000 Stores).

Now, after nearly a full year of testing their Seattle concept store with employees, Amazon says their cashier-less grocery store is just about ready to go live.  As Bloomberg notes this morning, the company has already begun hiring construction managers and marketing staff to build out a store base.

The e-commerce giant unveiled Amazon Go last December, saying it planned to open the store to the public early this year. However, the company encountered technical difficulties and postponed the launch to work out the bugs, The Wall Street Journal reported in March.


Seven months later, challenges remain, but the “just walk out” technology has improved markedly, says the person, who requested anonymity to speak freely about the project. And in a sign that the concept is almost ready for prime time, hiring for the Amazon Go team has shifted from the engineers and research scientists needed to perfect the platform to the construction managers and marketers who would build and promote the stores to consumers.

Of course, many analysts expect that Amazon will eventually roll out their grocery technology in the ~350 Whole Foods stores that they just acquired for $13.7 billion.  That said, implementing the technology in a 40,000 square foot grocery store might be a little more difficult than their current 1,800 square foot concept store so we won't hold our breath on that one.

For those who missed it, here is a look at AmazonGo in action:

So, why is this important?  Well, beyond the time it will save us from having to wait in frustrating checkout lines, there are nearly 40,000 grocery stores in the U.S. employing roughly 3.5mm people, many of whom are cashiers.

As we've noted before (see: 4 Signs That Spell Doom For Traditional American Grocery Chains), grocery stores operate on razor-thin margins that hover around 1-3% leaving the entire industry completely incapable of absorbing even the slightest financial the financial shock that might occur when a new competitor comes along and eliminates one of your highest cost buckets and allows them to drastically undercut you on price...

Of course, while the demise of the traditional grocery store will undoubtedly take time (recall that people were calling for the demise of Blockbuster for nearly a decade before it finally happened), make no mistake that the retail grocery market 10-15 years from now will not include many of the well-recognized companies that consumers visit weekly as of today.

Meanwhile, we're almost certain that this lower demand for minimum wage labor will prompt Bernie and his "Fight for $15" crew to argue even harder for higher minimum wages...after all, the cure for lower demand is just higher's simple economics 101 really.

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peddling-fiction's picture

Lucifer nods and grins.

mtl4's picture

This isn't your normal East German grocer anymore......

overbet's picture

Why cant they advertise realistcally? Do they take SNAP? Then why is there a black woman shopping at whole paycheck super market?


My wife came home bitching the other day some organic veg she buys a lot was literally twice the price at whole foods versus sprouts. The exact same product, quantity and brand. Double the price. 

skbull44's picture

But..But...the imminent North Korean EMP?

scraping_by's picture

Nothing so high-tech. Flash mobs with masks and without cell phones and chip cards.

So instead of cashiers, armed guards. Not like it's promoting the police state or anything.

BennyBoy's picture


Grocery Cahin Stores operating margins look better than Amazons profit.

Automatic Choke's picture

If they have the bugs out, this is really a clever way to eliminate shoplifting.

I doubt they have the bugs out, though.....   I suspect many false charges or missed charges, especially when the people density becomes high.   Wifi signals will overlap, many faces will be in view of sensors, they won't know whether you picked up that big cheez-whiz or if the obnoxious little old lady pushing you aside picked it up.


jcaz's picture

Nope,  I see the Dindu Nuffins scamming the self-checkout at the local market here-   they fail to scan items,  then lock up the machine and get indignant-  the token supervisor can't swipe them thru fast enough,  never bother to check their bags, just happy to get them out the door.

SantaClaws's picture

"Nothing so high-tech. Flash mobs with masks and without cell phones and chip cards."

Good point.  Are flash mobs, with mob members wearing bandannas and motorcycle helmets (like in Brazil), one of the "bugs" Amazon is working on?  Maybe Amazon and Whole Foods will require that each customer offer their fingerprints and face for recognition before being allowed entry.  Likely Israel -- experts at profiling --- will supply the decades-proven software.

Eventually, will only Democrats be allowed entry into Whole Foods?  Or only so-called "progressive" Democrats?

effendi's picture

Santaclaws, 3, 2, 1 before some "civil liberties" outfit takes legal action for "discrimination" when a muzzie in a burkha or niqab doesn't remove her face covering and is refused  entry/service. When that happens every dindu (males as well, can't discriminate against trannies) will buy a burkha or niqab (they sell on ebay for 14.95) and flashmob those stores. Plenty of space to stash their "purchases" (5 finger discount purchases) under a burkha.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

Maybe I can be coaxed into doing drag. I think my stage name should be Fatima.

BarkingCat's picture

No need.  Line your bag with any material that blocks wireless transmissions and you're shoplifting with ease.

I would actually suggest having 2 compartments and only one that blocks the frequencies.

That way when they start looking at videos,  it will not be immediately apparent that you have stuffed your bag full of goods and walked out without paying.

For further confusion to the humans that will certainly be reviewing the video,  take some of the items that you put in your bag and put them back on the shelves.

Froman's picture

That is a million dollar idea Barking Cat!  Build your protoype, have it mass produced in China and sell them for $39.95 on late night television.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

 No, sell it on Amazon. It would be worth it to see them come out with their own branded shoplifting bag at half the price.

hawaiian waverider's picture

Sprout's is a million times better than Whole Foods.  Better prices, better food attitude.

BarkingCat's picture

I just discovered Sprouts couple weeks ago while I was in Vegas. I really like the store. I would definitely limit my shopping to there. I do not go into Whole Foods. The people that work there are disgusting. Bunch of tattooed freaks with their faces pierced. It's a giant loseramma

Sokhmate's picture

Our local store has one tattooed landwhale bitch with the most fucking obnoxious annoying laugh that you can hear, literally, throughout the entire store. I don't know what the fuck she constantly laughs about.

Ristretto X4's picture

Just before they closed the WF store here, they were hireing trannies as cashiers. I always waited in the longer line so I didn't have to look at the dude in a dress. They're gone now and we have an awesome Sprouts! Sprouts has better products, lower prices and great employees!

Conscious Reviver's picture

People. People. Emancipate yourselves. Grow your own. Escape automation by owning your own means of production.

RockySpears's picture

So about 15 acres for a family of 4,

 .. that's called a housing-estate-to-be round here,  £10,000,000 starting price,



migra's picture

Sprouts is waaaaay better than Whole Foods. 

83_vf_1100_c's picture

The PC advert was the 1st thing I spotted. Not effective on over 100 IQ folks.Every movie, every show gots to have a black in the power position. Back in the real world, looks like the single Mom Laquishas, retirees whose retirement planning came up short and the soccer moms trying to fill the family budget gap are soon to be joining the buggy whip guys on the unemployment line.

A bit OT but I went to ACE hdwr the other day for a few screws and washers to pull the tilt steering pins on a Chevy truck. It worked out to 98 cents so instead of running plastic I handed the kid some zinc based fiat. I felt embarrased for him trying to do the simple math. I hope he is an outlier or we are fucked competing with the Chinese.



Malleus Maleficarum's picture

They're just trying to be 'inclusive and representative of reality,' dude! The PSYOP is in overdrive for anyone paying attention. For example, turned on the TV for background noise, and American Dad was on. I heard them say something about an 'Anti-Zionist Aryan Brotherhood' gang. That caught my attention, so I watched for a minute. In the end, some cop whose grandparents survived the Holocaust framed some innocent white dude and they all had a good laugh. The implication being 'criticize Zionism and you're the same as a Nazi prison gang member, so you deserve whatever happens, including false arrest on planted evidence!' Subtle, but effective PSYOP technique (mask the twisted message with laughter) and downright sickening. Everytime I make the mistake of watching TV, I see something similar.

waspwench's picture

They are not trying to be "inclusive and representative of reality."

They are trying to be "exclusive" as in exclude all whites, and "representative of fantasy" as in represent the fantasy world they think ought to exist.

This kind of advertising has an oddly negative effect on me and I find that I frequently don't buy the product. I just can't identify with it. Can't imagine why. :)))

Chuck Walla's picture

He is not an outlier. If the math isn't done for Junior, he's well out of it.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy's picture

I gave the clerk at a Smart & Final a hundred dollar bill. She picked up a wad of bills totaling far more than necessary, then looked at the screen, which told her how many of each smaller bill to give me.

Umh's picture

You should check out the ratio of black to white women that shop at the 'Good Foods' near me. This place is quite pricey and it seems to draw the status seekers from many miles away.

2_legs_bahhhhhd's picture

I give your wife credit, at least she noticed the price difference. Most of the tards in hole foods think that paying more, increases their standard of living.

Deplorables could have some fun by going into these places, load up your cart full of perishables, then leave it in the back corner on your way out. Hole foods passes along the cost to their customers. It's like a reverse subsidy financed by arrogant lefttards.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

Its about the 'brand' not the pricing. See what branding can do...$13.7 BILLION for 350 stores. Pretty amazing if you ask me.

ParticularlyStupidHumanoid's picture

Your wife was late, not because of the cost of vegetables, but because she is having an affair.



ParkAveFlasher's picture

Amazon flagship model brick-n-mortar storefront bookstore on 34th St. across from Empire State Building doesn't carry The Bible.  Let that sink in.

I asked the woman why they don't carry the best selling book of all time, in multiple languages, and it's all public domain.  It's pure profit for a seller, it's good business.

She didn't have an answer.

BandGap's picture

Because it burns a lot of hands when they touch them.

813kml's picture

You have too much time on your hands.

Implied Violins's picture

It's simple: they don't have a prayer.

Kidbuck's picture

So if you think they are missing a profit opportunity why don't you stand outside on the sidewalk and sell bibles?

ParkAveFlasher's picture

I actually give them away.  You hatin'?

Slammofandango's picture

The simple explanation for why they don' sell bibles at that flagship bookstore is because they don' stock items that don' sell. 

Any one of us can get a bible without searching the market or at all needing to pay for one. Bibles are otherwise free and there simply is no market for the bible itself; at least not those which are common and without some special physical embellishment to add intrinsic value to that which is otherwise mundane and given away free of charge.

I can think of a lot of things that make it obvious that Jeff Bezzlebub is evil, but not selling bibles isn' one if them.

DosZap's picture

LOL, what rock did you get that info from?, the Bible is the #1 selling book every year.

Slammofandango's picture

The simple explanation for why they don' sell bibles at that flagship bookstore is because they don' stock items that don' sell. 

Any one of us can get a bible without searching the market or at all needing to pay for one. Bibles are otherwise free and there simply is no market for the bible itself; at least not those which are common and without some special physical embellishment to add intrinsic value to that which is otherwise mundane and given away free of charge.

I can think of a lot of things that make it obvious that Jeff Bezzlebub is evil, but not selling bibles isn' one if them.

Nobody For President's picture

I just googled Amazon The Bible - they have a whole damn Bible Store:

So online is good...

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Yes I've purchased Bibles online from Amazon. 

Angel Eyes's picture

I'm in the process of unplugging from the Amazon beast, going direct to their suppliers whenever possible for what I can't get locally, and finding alternatives for the rest. 

Bezos, Baal, Beelzebub, Baphomet

ParkAveFlasher's picture has a very broad and well-selected offering of Bibles and related books.

Picked up a hardcover package of Edersheim studies for very inexpensive.

peddling-fiction's picture

I mean the fella on top of the pyramid, where Bezos is only the "successful" store manager and grocer, that bleeds money because "he" is achieving an important goal for the T-men and their master "G".

He is nowhere close to the "hallowed" top.

junction's picture

15 years ago, gambling casinos used slot machines that accepted coins and paid out winnings in coin or casino type dollar coins.  Casinos employed staff to empty out the coin hoppers when full.  Now, some casinos have one person refilling the slots with a stack of paper receipts on which the slots print out a bar coded paper receipt showing the amount due when you cash out.  Some casinos do away entirely with the receipts, using a credit card type card that stores your gambling balance, AFAIK.  Most of the jobs emptying coins from slot machines are gone.  Also gone are most of the staffers who cleared slot machines of coin jams and other similar mechanical malfunctions.  So when slot machines now malfunction, there are a lot fewer people on the floor to take care of the problem.  That's life, customer service is now a luxury item.