The evolving merger of physical retailing and online commerce took another step forward today, with Amazon’s announcement of the launch of its Amazon Go store.
“If it works as advertised, it’s definitely a breakthrough,” Gartner Research VP Mark Hung told me.
The 1800-square-foot facility, located at the corner of 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street in Seattle and oriented around meal preparation, requires that the customer have a supported smartphone, an Amazon account, and the free Go app. The Go store project is currently in beta and only Amazon employees can use it, but the company says it will open to the public early next year.
The basic selling point of Go, as the online retailing giant noted in its announcement:
“With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout. (No, seriously.)”