As tech giant Amazon continues to enter just about any industry that is capable of being profitable, their second Amazon Go store location opened up this week in downtown Chicago. Amazon and Chicago city officials say a third is on the way, as Amazon is a fan of the Windy City and the customers that shop there.
Amazon Go stores aren’t like your typical convenience store, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t convenient. The stores, which sell everything from yogurt to bananas, don’t have any cashiers and instead rely on a sophisticated system of cameras that track customer’s movements and selections.
Located at 144 S. Clark, the store is smack dab in the middle of Chicago’s bustling Loop neighborhood and is surrounded by office buildings and business apartments. With so much activity happening around the new store, Amazon hopes that the 1,700 square foot facility will appeal to short-term renters and downtown workers alike.
To make this concept work, Amazon uses their app, a camera system and QR codes. The end result is a shopping experience like something out of Back to the Future. When customers walk inside the new store, they’ll scan a QR code, effectively identifying themselves and their payment method to the store. As they wander through the store, picking up items along the way, cameras and weight sensors track what is being taken off shelves.
When you have all of the items you need, there’s no need to stand in line and wait to pay. Shoppers are able to just walk out of the store with their new items – but it’s not free! Amazon calculates your total after you leave with your items and then automatically charges the card you have on file.
Every Amazon Go store, including the new one in Chicago, has a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Salads and sandwiches are available, as well as pre-made meal kits if you’re looking to try something new for dinner.