Amazon Go to open second cashierless store in downtown Seattle
A chief concern over Seattle’s recent head tax battle is how it would impact Amazon’s creation of local jobs. But the one area somewhat unaffected by this is Amazon Go, the cashier-less convenience store that barely requires any jobs. Amazon announced plans to open a second Go store in Seattle.
“Obviously, there’s a whole group of people who work in supermarkets who are not super thrilled about this as a platform for stores,” said KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis. “But friends of mine who have gone said it’s kind of cool and you do get in and out pretty quickly.”
The Seattle Times reports that the new Amazon Go store will be located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marion Street. The online retail giant is also looking to open other stores in Chicago and San Francisco.
The pilot store on Seventh Avenue has been open to the public since January 2018. Monitored by an app and sea of cameras above, customers can simply place grocery items in their bags, and then nervously stroll out the door of the checkout-free store, which automatically charges your account.
The pilot store is staffed with a few stockers and employees preparing to-go meals. The endeavor has drawn criticism from the grocery-store workers’ union for creating an automation business model which inherently reduces jobs.
“You see signs in the Ballard area protesting New Seasons Market because they don’t have workers rights and unions in there,” said KIRO Radio’s John Curley. “Are they also protesting Amazon’s store? Because they’ve basically eliminated these people all together. It’s not whether they’re in a union or not. There’s no one behind the scanners.”
Will additional Amazon Go stores lead to protests?
As is Seattle’s favorite pastime, with unions upset over the actions of a giant corporation, protests are almost certain to follow. Or are they?
“They haven’t yet,” Mike said. “Amazon has a complicated relationship with unions. As a company, they’re not pro-union, though they also provide decent wages and benefits. But with construction in Seattle, Amazon has funded some of the largest trade union employment in America for years.”
“So have there been protests at the Amazon Go store yet? I think there’s people who have written and talked about it, but I haven’t seen any picketing. But if these start spreading rapidly, I think you can anticipate that it’s to come.”
The second Amazon Go store is slated to open in the fall.