According to a recent report by The New York Post, Amazon's concept of a high-tech supermarket may change how we shop groceries.
Amazon is a well-known e-commerce giant. However, the company is now trying to make a significant move in the offline market. According to the same report, Amazon is considering the idea of constructing a two-story supermarket. As surprising as this might sound, it's actually not the shocking part.
Imagine a supermarket between 10,000 and 40,000 square feet. Now, imagine having only three people operating the whole supermarket. That's exactly what Amazon has in mind with its so-called ‘supermarket of the future.’ At the moment, this Amazon idea is still in the prototype stages. In fact, Amazon is still testing the concept on smaller Amazon Go stores, which debuted last December.
The supermarkets and the stores will have no lines, no registers, and no cashiers. Amazon's concept is to rely on their customer's phone app. The app is tasked to detect the items that the customer picked up from the shelves.
With only three staff members managing the entire supermarket, robots will do the rest of the work. It's proposed that the robots will be housed on the second floor and all of them will be programmed to find the specific item that a customer picks and the robots will then pack the item for the customer that is waiting below.
Amazon's supermarkets are planned to carry more than 4,000 items. Most of them are the ones that customers would "like to touch" before purchasing like eggs, vegetables, fruits, and meat. The supermarkets will also carry pharmaceutical products and a couple of household items.
As of the moment, Amazon Go stores employ a maximum of 10 people. It's clear that Amazon is investing in the idea of using technology as a way to significantly reduce labor costs. However, the company will still be facing maintenance and repair costs for the robots.
Also, you might not want to hold your breath as you wait for Amazon's idea of a high-tech supermarket to materialize. According to Amazon's spokesman, they still have no plans to construct such a store. What is true at present is the fact that robots are working in Amazon's vast warehouses. According to a recent report by The Seattle Times, Amazon has recently and significantly expanded its army of robots in its warehouses. The maker of the robots was not disclosed.
Keep in mind that Amazon's global headquarters are in Seattle. The newspaper reported that Amazon now houses more than 45,000 robots spread across 20 different warehouses and fulfillment centers.
The idea of a high-tech supermarket may be astonishing to some, but it's a double-edged sword. According to another report from the World Economic Forum, AI, automation, and robots will replace 5 million human jobs by 2020. It's probably one of the reasons why Amazon is delaying the idea of constructing high-tech supermarkets.