At the end of last year, Amazon had announced that it would be opening it’s “no lines, no check out” store Amazon Go in early 2017. Now six months into the year, Amazon Go is still not open.
You can check it out if you know someone who works there, said a former Amazon Go employee last week. The store is not fully opened but having the right connections can help you get in.
Amazon has promised a shopping experience like no other as it released glimpses of how the store would operate. In its advert, people are seen walking into the grocery store by tapping in using an app on their phones, they proceed to shop and then walk right out – just like that. No lines, no checkout. The store would have been perfect for the fast-paced lives of today’s consumers and would have revolutionized the shopping forever. However, we’re half way through the year and the store is yet to open.
The opening is being stalled due to glitches in the store’s operations and is being seen as an embarrassing misstep by the tech giant. Amazon’s been riding high on the buzz it created for its high-profile project which consequently led to an increase in its stock prices. Amazon also scored a $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods. The delay is also causing many to question whether the store will open at all and if a checkout-free convenience store is even a possibility.
However, the delay comes as a relief to workers in the retail stores as they have seen who’ve lost their jobs as retail stores closed at record numbers this year. Many feared that Amazon Go technology may make their jobs obsolete. Amazon had addressed these concerns saying that their convenience stores will require the same amount of workers as regular stores but the tasks will be different.
The rumors suggest that the software being used in the Amazon Go store doesn’t seem to facilitate more than 20 people at a time which is why the store has not been opened to the public. Amazon’s employs have been using it though. Despite the hiccups, the Amazon Go team is still pushing forward. The concept is not being shelved. A former employee at Amazon said that experimentation isn’t new for the company; if Amazon finds that the concept is not offering consumers a valuable experience, the store will be shut down.