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Amazon’s Cashierless Store Opens Today With Sushi, Burritos, and No Lines

It’s like shoplifting, but not

Amazon Go at 300 California St.
Nick Statt / The Verge

As foretold by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s self-serve, cashierless Amazon Go opens in San Francisco today. The fifth to open nationwide, the store at 300 California Street is mostly dedicated to serving grab-and-go food, snacks drinks, meal kits, and even sushi — naturally, it’s also selling Amazon’s own line of sandwiches.

The big deal is the lack of supervision at checkout, and throughout the shopping experience. Hungry worker bees can scan their Amazon account via the Amazon Go app at the entrance, then shop freely throughout the store — freely with the exception of the many sensors and cameras tracking shoppers’ movements throughout the store and taking stock of what they’ve chosen for purchase. At the end of the experience, just leave — a digital receipt will appear in Amazon Go’s app.

Like other food businesses that have centered their service models on automation — Eatsa, Creator — there are still humans behind the operation. The Amazon Go store has an offsite kitchen, staffed by humans who will prepare fresh items like sandwiches and salads each day. The retail giant has also given a nod to local restaurants like Dosa and La Boulangerie, who will provide fresh products like pastries and hummus. Microwaves and seating are available for those that choose to dine in; otherwise, busy office workers can literally dine and dash.

The result is an upscale deli/grocery/drug store without lines, a draw in the heavily-trafficked financial district where everyone scurries out for lunch at noon (or, let’s be honest, 11 a.m.). That means no standing in lines during the midday rush, anxiously waiting for a burrito on the way to a meeting, or braving the line at a food truck.

It’s a continuation of the online behemoth’s retail-facing push, following the purchase of Whole Foods, physical bookstores (including one in Walnut Creek), and more. A second, smaller Amazon Go is planned to open at 98 Post Street this winter, while a “four star” store is set to open in Berkeley, selling only the company’s highest-rated materials.

Starting today, Amazon Go will open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) cashierless model is opening in said of the new 2,300 square feet at 300 California St., fully stocked with everything from meal kits to Whole Foods snap peas to Urban Remedy salads. The only thing missing is a standard check-out line.

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