Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is testing its cashierless checkout technology for bigger stores, the Wall street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter. If successful, the strategy would further challenge brick-and-mortar retailers racing to make their businesses more convenient.
The online retail giant is experimenting with the technology in Seattle in a larger space formatted like a big store, the report said. The systems track what shoppers pick from shelves and charges them automatically when they leave a store. Although the technology functions well in its current small-store format, it is harder to use the technology in bigger spaces with higher ceilings and more products, the report said, meaning it could take time to roll out the systems at more larger stores.
It is unclear whether Amazon intends to use the technology for Whole Foods, although that is the most likely application if executives can make it work, the report said. Amazon has previously said it has no plans to add the technology to Whole Foods.
The cashierless system is already in use at seven Amazon Go convenience stores in Seattle, Chicago and San Francisco. The company plans to build more of these small stores, the report said. Each is typically less than 2,500 square feet and sells a range of drinks, prepared foods and groceries.
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