Amazon Opens Long-promised 'Checkout Free' Grocery Store in Seattle


This is over a year later than planned. Our answer to those questions is Amazon Go and 'Just Walk Out Shopping'. Inside, you'll find a wide variety of on-the-go foods such as salads, beverages, and ready-to-eat meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

It will also sell Amazon Meal Kits, which contain ingredients and recipes for particular dishes, and grocery staples such as bread, milk, cheese, and chocolates. The acquisition marked a noted increase in Amazon's brick-and-mortar footprint, as well as its focus on grocery sales.

A creation of Amazon, Amazon Go is described as including "the world's most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line".

Q: Do you have any people working in the store? Other than a real employee standing near the alcoholic beverages to check customer ID's, no one bothers the customer.

Amazon previously said it planned to open several Amazon Go stores, but it hasn't discussed those plans in recent months. Shoppers then have their Amazon accounts debited upon leaving the store, without the need to queue at a checkout, with a receipt then emailed straight to them.

Shoppers will be able to scan the Amazon Go app on their smartphone at the turnstile, select items off the shelves and then leave without visiting a traditional checkout.

Customers are automatically charged when they leave the store, which means no more waiting in checkout lines. Much like grabbing that drink from the minibar at 3am can automatically sense you took something, the shelves of Amazon Go stores also track your purchases.

As the Times found when they tried it, shoplifting seems just about impossible here, because Amazon is watching with arrays of hundreds of small cameras above store shelves. Shoppers don't have to return an unwanted item to the store to get a refund.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. There are now about 12 in the USA - including one in NY that opened past year - as well as dozens of temporary pop-up outlets.

Issues ahead of launch including the cameras not recognising different customers of similar builds (yeah, we know, we're all fat to a computer) and children putting things on the highest shelf they can reach, not the correct one and confusing the system.

Such instances led to a delay in the store's public opening, multiple news outlets previously reported and Recode since confirmed.

Amazon did not say if or when it when it would add more Go locations, but said it had no plans to use the technology in the larger and more complex Whole Foods stores.