retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I was in Seattle early this week and walked by the new Amazon Go store, which got a lot of attention recently when Amazon released a video illustrating how it was going to be a checkout-free shopping experience.

(You can check out our original story about Amazon Go here.)

Alas, I could not go in. For the moment, the store is in beta testing, and admission is restricted to Amazon employees.

But I did notice something interesting that was worth pointing out. And you can see in the accompanying pictures, Amazon seems to be putting foodservice front and center in the store, to an extent I never would've expected.

There are chefs and kitchen facilities lining the front of the store, easily visible through the front windows. The store may be in beta testing, but they're all busy.

You can see from the signs that Amazon Go is focused on the meal experience. There are unlikely to be any service departments, but there look to be plenty of options for fresh, prepared - and packaged - foods.

I'm intrigued, not least because this does not seem to be part of Amazon's skill set. It is fascinating that the Amazon folks are stretching in this particular direction, and it may be just as interesting to see what it comes up with in this segment as it will be to see how the whole no-checkout thing works.

Very, very interesting. And definitely an Eye-Opener.

KC's View: