Amazon’s cashierless retail technology has found its first customer outside the United States.
Sainsbury’s, the second-largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom, will now use Amazon’s artificial intelligence-powered surveillance system cameras to power a cashierless grocery store in London.
Amazon Teams Up with Sainsbury’s
According to Bloomberg News, Sainsbury’s added the news in its own FAQ for its London store, stating that a third-party supplier will provide the technology.” The London branch is scheduled to open on Nov. 29.
Bloomberg revealed that the third-party supplier is Amazon. The Verge reported that Sainsbury’s is currently testing the cashierless technology at the store.
The new shop is located near the supermarket’s headquarters on High Holborn. It will use machine learning technology and cameras to track everything that the customers pick up.
Customers can scan the QR code in and out of the store using the Sainsbury’s app, and they will be charged for any items they leave the store with.
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The supermarket giant stated that the system does not use facial recognition and does not share the customers’ account data with Amazon. The images that are collected by the cameras are automatically deleted within 30 days.
Amazon’s cashierless technology was introduced in 2018 in an Amazon Go store in Seattle. E-commerce now has a couple of locations in the U.S. and six stores in the United Kingdom, where the shops are called Amazon Fresh.
The e-commerce giant has also been selling its system to other retailers, including Hudson Markets, OTG CIBO Express, and Delaware North in the United States, and Sainsbury’s in the United Kingdom.
The company calls its technology “Just Walk Out.” It has also been slowly expanding the technology to cover larger grocery stores.
Also, there have been questions about Amazon’s technology and its effectiveness and if it is worth it, especially since the system is expensive.
However, the slow expansion of Amazon’s retail stores and the same offerings from its rivals suggest that the idea of the expansion has some appeal.
Or, at least, the companies do not want to find themselves outmaneuvered by Amazon and are trying to keep up.
On London’s High Holborn, you will be able to find three cashierless retail stores, but only one is in full operation. Aside from the Sainsbury’s shop, there is also Amazon Fresh and the cashierless store from Tesco.
In 2022, Amazon’s technology will roll out in the Whole Foods stores in California and Washington.
Amazon’s Possible Partnership with Starbucks
In October, GeekWire reported that Starbucks wanted to create a new style of coffee shop featuring Amazon’s technology. It will let people purchase beverages, baked goods, and other foods without going through the checkout.
Eugene Kim, a reporter, said that the initial layout of the store shows Amazon Go’s food section within a cafe that has a lounge seating area.
Customers would need to use a separate app to pay for their purchases. However, Starbucks wants to create an integrated solution eventually.
However, the report added that the partnership between Amazon and Starbucks might not happen because it will take time to make it work.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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