Amazon’s app-powered supermarket chain, Amazon Go, is opening its twelfth branch today. This one is located on Vesey Street in New York. This new branch will accept cash, which is a major change from they usually operate.
Until now, customers needed to download the Amazon Go app before entering the store, then check themselves in through turnstiles with the QR code in their app, get what they want in the shop, then leave. The store’s item tracking system knows what a customer selected and bills them automatically using the app.
However, backlash against Amazon Go and cashless systems has made Amazon do things differently here. Philadelphia has already banned cashless stores, and similar legislation is under consideration in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, DC — and New York. Many see it as discriminating against people.
Customers wanting to pay cash will have to be swiped in by an employee rather than entering autonomously, then have their products scanned by a human, who conducts the checkout process. There won’t be cash registers, but Amazon will presumably need cash on hand to give change.
“This is how we’re starting,” says Cameron Janes, who looks after Amazon stores, “We’re going to learn from customers on what works and what doesn’t work and then iterate and improve it over time.”