Amazon releases more details on its move into convenience

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 7th December 2016

Amazon has this week revealed more details about its move into the convenience sector with brick-and-mortar stores.

In October 2016, Australian Food New reported that Amazon was rumoured to be establishing its own convenience chain in America with stores opening soon.

The rumours have now been confirmed with the online retailing giant launching a page dedicated to ‘Amazon Go,’ the name given to the new convenience chain.

According to the webpage, Amazon Go “is a new kind of store with no checkout required.” Amazon says its shoppers will not have to wait in checkout lines, but instead will use an app to enter the store and to do their shopping. Its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology will automatically detect whether an item has been taken or returned from a shop, with sensors and artificial intelligence tracking the individual shopper. Consumers will just be automatically charged to their account when they leave the store.

At the moment the first Amazon Go store, which is approximately 1, 800 square feet in size, is open in Seattle to Amazon’s employees only for testing purposes. It is expected to be open to the general public in early 2017.

The store sells ready-to-eat meals, snacks and grocery staples such as bread, milk, cheese and chocolates. Amazon meal kits which give consumers enough food to cook a meal for two are also available at the store.

Another two Amazon Go stores are expected to be opened in America at a later date.


What will this mean for Australia?

Evidence is emerging that Amazon will be establishing itself as a food retailer in Australia. Whether this occurs through online shopping or physical stores, or both, is not totally clear.

Australian media outlets today reported that Amazon has lodged more than 250 trademark applications for Australia, with the applications covering both food and beverage.

Last week, Australian Food News reported that Woolworths has already established a new division to tackle the rumoured launch of AmazonFresh into Australia. AmazonFresh is a food delivery service that has been operating in the US since 2007 and is now also available in London.

Australian Food News has tried to contact Amazon regarding its Australian business interests but has yet to receive a response.

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