Amazon is using ground-breaking technology to free up staff and focus on giving customers a great shopping experience in its first checkout-free convenience store, Amazon Go.

RN teamed up with PayPoint and two top UK convenience retailers for an exclusive study tour of Amazon Go in Seattle last week.

The store uses ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, which enables shoppers to scan themselves into the shop using an app, pick up whatever they want to buy and leave without passing a checkout. They are then billed for their purchases through their Amazon account. 

Despite removing checkouts, Amazon Go has not reduced its staff numbers. Instead, team members are now better placed to improve the shopping experience by being readily available to offer assistance and guidance to customers. 

“It’s a really slick concept and its use of technology is really interesting in terms of how it’s fuelling the customer experience,” said Steve O’Neill, group marketing director at PayPoint. 

Harris Aslam, owner of Eros Retail in Fife, described it as the “finest example of technology disrupting convenience”. “With the rate of change in convenience, the next big disruption will inevitably be from technology. The concept is truly amazing, though in many ways simple,” he added. 

Spar retailer Raj Aggarwal said: “I wasn’t expecting it to live up to the hype, but it’s actually a lot more.” 

The 1,800sq ft concept store opened to the public on 22 January after more than a year of testing with Amazon employees. 

It is fitted with hundreds of cameras and sensors that track customers’ every move, allowing them to pick up and put back products and only be charged for the items they have taken.