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lucillle

Amazon Grab and Go

Lucille
4 years ago
last modified: 4 years ago

A new concept where you go to a grocery store, get what you want and leave, no standing in line waiting for a cashier. As you leave the store your Amazon account is charged for the items.

There is some controversy about the possible loss of jobs.

To me, considering the times that I am incorrectly charged, it would seem as if correcting a charge might be an issue. And what about coupons?

What do you think?

Comments (27)

  • Fun2BHere
    4 years ago

    How are the items scanned? I rarely use the self-checkout because it's not efficient when you have produce, there's no place to put your purse and half the time it gets confused when you use your own bags. If the new concept requires scanning, then I'll continue to have a checker do it for me.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I saw just a quick story that suggested there's some combination of sensors plus a phone app and scanning that make it work. Along with a comment that it's believed that the weak point of a retail customer's experience is having to wait in line, the intent is to eliminate that step.

    "There is some controversy about the possible loss of jobs."

    Commercial companies, especially publicly-held ones like Amazon, have no societal obligation to operate in a way that provides jobs to unskilled workers, as are most retail jobs. They're doing what customers want, it happens to use a lot of IT and so IT employees for development instead of store employees to make it happen.

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  • Lucille
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    "Commercial companies, especially publicly-held ones like Amazon, have no societal obligation to operate in a way that provides jobs to unskilled workers, as are most retail jobs."

    To me, there is a huge difference in the performance difference between an inexperienced cashier and one who has been on the job for years. If this experiment fails, they may not be able to get the experienced people back, they may have retired or moved on. So the company, as well as the employees, may be at risk if decisions are not carefully made.

    I too rarely use the self checkout.

    Of course, if the requirement to shop involves having an Amazon account and there are no cashiers, I would wait to hear how others fare, and weigh the risks against the advantages. I can see the potential for problems, if a wannabe thief exits the store at the same time I do with items hidden in pockets, would I be charged? Would the time involved in resolving problems and discrepancies outweigh the time advantage of not having an actual paper receipt to review when leaving?

    I'm retired and go to the grocery store at times when there are not a lot of people there. I don't usually wait too long to get checked out. I never did use the new deal some stores have where you order online and then just pick up your groceries, I'm too picky about fresh items especially vegetable produce. I don't want rock hard avocados or wilted lettuce, and I don't want to have to return stuff, especially items I plan to use that day.

  • Texas_Gem
    4 years ago

    I am intrigued and would gladly use this service. It is very technical, hubby and I were discussing how exactly it works.

    My guess is that when you walk in, you check in with your app and the store probably assigns you a unique one time locater beacon that tracks where you are in the store so when you are right in front of the milk and the sensors detect that a carton of milk was picked up, it is added to your cart. If you put the milk back, it subtracts it from your cart.

    A would be thief can't really "sneak" out and charge you, in fact anyone call walk in and put things in their pockets, bag, purse, whatever.

    Do you remember that commercial, I think it was in the 90s, it showed a young man going into a store and it looks like he is shoplifting, grabbing things and putting them in his pockets. As he leaves the store, he is stopped by a security guy, the guy says "you forgot your receipt."

    It was an early look at a potential future, well, now that future is arriving.

  • nicole___
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I chit chat w/ people in a grocery store..and people-watch if I'm in a long line. It's part of the experience. I know all about the checkers home lives after seeing some for 25 years. One guy has a farm, goats, horses, barn cats....very interesting the stories he tells me while he checks me out.

    I can't imagine bypassing the grocery checkers.....maybe at Best Buy...in that situation.

  • Texas_Gem
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Here is the commercial. It was 2006. For some reason, I thought it was late nineties. IBM has done several futuristic commercials in the past, shopping from home, virtual meetings, etc. All things we actually do now.


    Edit: sorry, it was AT&T that did all those commercials showing the future.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    lucille, I'm sure Amazon understands well the situations and challenges it needs to address for this concept to work. As a company, they've accomplished a huge amount of technical innovation and they've rewritten the landscape of consumer sales. They'll either figure it out or decide the idea won't work. They're aiming for a segment of society, not everyone, and believe this twist on the shopping experience will attract customers. My guess is that prices will be slightly higher for the convenience and that people will willingly pay it. I would.

    I think they're on to something and I hope it's successful. Grab and Go is exactly what I want to do in a grocery store. It's not a social occasion. I find nothing more irritating than customer/checker conversations about fluffy and inane topics that unnecessarily prolong my wait in line. It's rude and selfish in my book.

  • eld6161
    4 years ago

    I haven't yet googled to fully understand the concept yet. It sound similar to what I have at Stop and Shop.

    At Stop and Shop you have three choices of how to check out. First is having your items scanned by a cashier. The second is to scan your items yourself and the third, which is what I do, is use the wand. You get your wand by scanning your store card. As I shop I am scanning all my items and putting them in the cart. I weigh, bag and scan all my produce. When I check out, I scan the barcode that appears when I hit checkout, all my items are tallied and I then pay. So, this seems similar to what Amazon is going to do, but they are bumping it up a notch.

    Once in a while, you are stopped for an audit. A worker comes and has to scan ten items and check that you have scanned them.

    Loopholes in the system that I use. If you want to cheat, you can put organic apples and record them as regular. When you are audited they usually don't dig deep so again if someone wanted to cheat they would "hide" an item under a mass of groceries.

    I am sure that if someone wanted to find a way to steal at Amazon, it will happen. However, in the case of Stop and Shop, I think that the loss they take for people trying to beat the system is far less than paying employees a salary and for some health benefits. So win/win for them.

    I am sure that the Amazon stores will have employees watching.

  • Lucille
    Original Author
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    "lucille, I'm sure Amazon understands well the situations and challenges it needs to address for this concept to work."

    Many companies understand business challenges; if your implication is that we should not talk among ourselves about those challenges and issues, well good luck with that.

  • Fun2BHere
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    HERE'S a video of the Amazon Go. I could see that concept as shown replacing the 12 items or less checkout, but probably not so much for the full cart for a family of 4+, although Eld6161's description of the Stop and Shop experience shows that there's probably a solution for that. One thing that would be nice would be a comparison program. I get tired of trying to figure out the comparative cost per item, especially now as my eyesight makes reading those tiny tags difficult even with glasses.

    In general, I'm an early adopter of technology, so I would probably give it a try to see if works for me.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago

    Not at all. You seem to have decided there are problems. I was suggesting that those points and others aren't things outsiders need be concerned with. They'll either work them out and open the doors or find they can't and drop the idea.



  • Embothrium
    4 years ago

    If corporations have no societal obligations then I guess society no longer needs to give them tax breaks and bailouts, train their future employees for them or prepare building sites for their offices and stores, and so on.

  • joyfulguy
    4 years ago

    As I live alone and am gregarious, I find that I often talk in a line waiting at checkout (but don't conduct small talk with the cashier or bank teller unless there's no one waiting in line).

    For example: Do you know how to get a dollar's worth of charitable value for 50 or 60 cents?

    If someone shows interest, I explain that if I buy food for a dollar and put it into the box for the Food Bank at the exit door ... or the firehall ... or church ... I decided what to buy, but it might not have been a high priority item with the folks who operate the food bank, and I paid $1.00 retail price.

    A couple of times a year some stores allow customers to contribute money to the charity at checkout, so if I give them about 80 cents, the Food Bank people get the food which they feel to be most important, and at wholesale price.

    If I go to the Food Bank and give them 80 cents, they get food at wholesale price and choose the foods most needed ... plus give me a receipt.

    When income tax time comes, if I'm in 25% tax bracket, I get a refund of a quarter of the 80 cents: that 20 cents takes my actual cost down to 60 cents, and if my effective tax bracket is above 25%, an even larger refund.

    And a number of people have found a way to reduce their after-tax cost even further.

    I find that often I'm able to dig a little humour out of a situation ... and often say that if one can put a smile on the face of someone when there wasn't one before, it adds joy to the day. Many people agree with that observation, often wholeheartedly so.

    ole joyful

  • Lucille
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    "You seem to have decided there are problems. I was suggesting that those points and others aren't things outsiders need be concerned with."

    Thank you for trying to manage what I 'ought' to be concerned with, but I can choose that myself. If you do not agree with my thoughts, just SOB.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago

    SOB?

  • Lucille
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    Scroll On By

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago

    Lucille, I've no interest in managing your thoughts or concerns. I disagreed with what you said and explained why. That's what a discussion is.


  • Lucille
    Original Author
    4 years ago

    And then I disagreed with what you said. I do think anyone can and should be concerned with the way large companies operate, it can affect many people.


  • Texas_Gem
    4 years ago

    It seems a lot of people wish innovation would stop because it "takes" jobs from people who need them.

    Luddites have been around probably as long as technology has, someone is always going to complain.

    Perhaps, instead of pining for low or no skill jobs to artificially remain when they aren't necessary, we should work on educating our future generations to be innovators and encourage them to help our society grow.

    We don't need cashier jobs for that.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    "If corporations have no societal obligations then I guess society no
    longer needs to give them tax breaks and bailouts, train their future
    employees for them or prepare building sites for their offices and
    stores, and so on."

    Call 'em like you see 'em. You're talking politics, I was talking business/finance and econ. I said they have no obligation to conduct themselves in a manner that provides more employment, and they won't if doing otherwise produces more revenue and greater profits. Business growth does provide more jobs but job training, unemployment management, etc., remains largely the responsibility of the individuals concerned and the domain of governments, not companies.

    edit to add

    We certainly DON'T as a country need more unskilled worker jobs. I agree completely with all texas gem has said above. Even in bad times, job opportunities exist for people with the right backgrounds and training or education. Usually, the paths to these jobs are well defined. Those who choose to not follow those paths are choosing a lifetime of under-employment or, indeed, often unemployment. We need to help those whose circumstances may make it harder than for others, and we don't now provide as much help as we should. But I believe that people are fully entitled to the consequences of their choices, both good ones and bad ones.

  • JoAnn_Fla
    4 years ago

    I think it will be good for the elderly or shut-ins, or someone that doesn't do well shopping. I would not do it myself.

  • workoutlady
    4 years ago

    I'm sure it will be a very long time before this comes to my rural area and the mom and pop grocery store I go to. I do go to the Walmart type stores about once a month so I guess it is possible that I could use it. I can see the advantages and I would probably use it once I hear that most of the bugs have been worked out.

  • jakkom
    4 years ago

    From the rather short article, I'd guess the target competition is Trader Joe's. Limited offerings, highly focused market niche, aimed at Millennials who have very different shopping habits than older Boomers.

  • Fun2BHere
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Do Boomers have different grocery shopping habits than Millennials? I would think there would be a lot of similarities...singles or couples, looking for healthy diet, desire for freshly prepared items or easy to cook items, some budgetary restrictions...what do you think?

  • Jmc101
    4 years ago

    Texas Gem, you and I are exactly on the same page with this concept.

    I look forward to the day I can shop in this type of store.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Fun2behere, I think eating habits (which control shopping habits) have many influences beyond age differences. Like education level, regional habits, socio-economic/ income level, cirmcumstances and ethnicity.

    Downtown Seattle is a young, hip, highly educated, urban tech savvy (in the old days you'd say yuppie) scene. That's the prime target as I see it. Healthy food that can be gotten with a quick in and out.