Amazon set to open its first NYC Go store (and it will accept cash)

Amazon opens its first New York City Go store (and this one will accept cash)

  • Amazon opened its new Go store in New York City at high-end Brookfield Place
  • It will be the first Go store to accept cash; customers otherwise must use app
  • Employees will swipe those who want to pay by cash through turnstile entrance

Amazon launched its high-tech Go convenience store a year ago, where shoppers can pull items off the shelf and walk out.

Now it’s adding a decidedly low-tech feature: accepting cash.

Its new store opening in New York City Tuesday will be the first Amazon Go store to do so. At its other shops, customers can only enter with an app that links to a credit card or an Amazon account.

The company, facing backlash from critics who say cashless stores discriminate against the poor, confirmed last month that it was working on a way to accept paper bill and coins.

Above, people shop at the newly opened Amazon Go Store on May 07, 2019 in New York City. The cashier-less store, the first of this type of store, called Amazon Go, accepts cash and is the 12th such store in the United States located at Brookfield Place in downtown New York

In the new store, employee will swipe those who want to pay by cash through the turnstile entrance. 

After shoppers grab what they want off the shelves, an employee will scan each item with a mobile device and check them out. 

There still won’t be cash registers in the store.

Cameron Janes, who oversees Amazon’s physical stores, says the way it accepts cash could change in the future, but declined to give details.

‘This is how we’re starting,’ he says. ‘We’re going to learn from customers on what works and what doesn’t work and then iterate and improve it over time.’

In recent years, a small but growing number of stores around the country have gone cash-free. 

But some activists and politicians say that discriminates against people who don’t have a bank account.

Philadelphia became the first city to ban cashless stores earlier this year. 

New Jersey passed a statewide ban soon after, and similar laws are being considered in New York City and San Francisco.

In the new store, employee will swipe those who want to pay by cash through the turnstile entrance. After shoppers grab what they want off the shelves, an employee will scan each item with a mobile device and check them out

Among the items on the shelves at the new store are Amazon’s own meal kits, pictured 


The roughly 1,300-square-foot store sells a variety of food items, prepared meals and Amazon’s own meal kits. It is believed that by 2021 Amazon is considering opening up as many as 3,000 of its cashier-free stores across the United States

A clerk restocks items in a newly-opened Amazon Go store, Tuesday, May 7, 2019 in New York. The store will be the first Amazon Go store to accept cash. At its other shops, customers can only enter with an app that links to a credit card or an Amazon account

It’s not clear how many shoppers will skip the app and want to pay by cash at Amazon Go. 

The New York store, the first in the city, is in Brookfield Place, a high-end shopping mall and office complex that houses a Gucci store and office workers from banks and credit card companies. 

Amazon expects many of its customers to be workers looking to pick up a lunchtime salad or sandwich, people who live in the area or tourists visiting the nearby World Trade Center.

Amazon didn’t say when its 11 other Go stores will start accepting cash.

A customer carries his shopping bag as he walks out of a newly-opened Amazon Go store. The company, facing backlash from critics who say cashless stores discriminate against the poor, confirmed last month that it was working on a way to accept paper bill and coins

HOW DO AMAZON’S GO STORES WORK?

In December 2016, Amazon unveiled a convenience store in downtown Seattle that replaced cashiers with technology found in self-driving cars.

It opened to the public in January 2018.

To start shopping, customers must scan an Amazon Go smartphone app and pass through a gated turnstile.

Ready-to-eat lunch items greet shoppers when they enter.

Deeper into the store, shoppers can find a small selection of grocery items, including meats and meal kits.

An Amazon employee checks IDs in the store’s wine and beer section.

Amazon’s first Go Store opened in Seattle earlier this year and are looking to expand and open stores in Chicago and San Francisco  

Sleek black cameras monitoring from above and weight sensors in the shelves help Amazon determine exactly what people take.

If someone passes back through the gates with an item, his or her associated account is charged.

If a shopper puts an item back on the shelf, Amazon removes it from his or her virtual cart.

Much of the store will feel familiar to shoppers, aside from the check-out process.

Amazon, famous for dynamic pricing online, has printed price tags just as traditional brick-and-mortar stores do.

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