Bad news for human employees
In context: Amazon’s Go stores have popped up across the US, utilizing the power of machine learning, computer vision, and sophisticated camera and sensor technology to bring cashierless shopping to the public.
While the Go stores themselves are on the smaller side — there’s only one 10,000 square foot storefront in Seattle — the technology powering them can be scaled up for far bigger locations, and that’s precisely what Amazon intends to do in 2021, according to a new report from The New York Post.
Starting in the second quarter of 2021, Amazon will allegedly begin rolling out the technology to some of its Whole Foods locations. For reference, Amazon bought out the retail chain in 2017 to the tune of $13.7 billion, and it’s been looking for ways to increase the stores’ profitability ever since.
Cutting down on the cost of human labor through automation is certainly one potential method of accomplishing that goal; albeit a controversial one.
It’s unclear how many Whole Foods locations will be receiving this technology initially, but we suspect Amazon will keep the initial rollout small to gauge customer and employee reactions.
Amazon, for its part, has not commented on this report, so this news should still be taken with a grain of salt for the time being.