Amazon may be looking to bring the cashierless tech found at its Go convenience stores to Whole Foods supermarkets as early as next year, the New York Post reports.
Amazon may start implementing the tech in Whole Foods sometime during the second quarter of 2021, according to the New York Post’s source. This technology, which is currently available in more than 20 Amazon Go convenience store locations, uses cameras, sensors, and computer vision to let customers walk out the store with groceries in hand and avoid cashier checkout lines.
The New York Post’s source claims the rollout of the new technology into Whole Foods is one of two final projects that Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, is focusing on before he retires early next year.
Amazon Go stores initially launched in 2016 for Amazon employees before opening to the public in 2018. Following Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017, customers, workers, and journalists wondered if Amazon would integrate this technology into the supermarket. In February, Amazon Go VP Dilip Kumar told our sister site Recode there were “no plans to put this in a Whole Foods for now.”
The promise of cashierless grocery stores is convenient: walk in, buy your groceries, and walk out. While this “just walk out” model is nice, this new technology is very likely to replace jobs with machines. After Amazon announced that it would begin selling this tech to retailers, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union criticized the tech giant, saying the cashierless model is “a direct threat to 16 million American retail jobs and is part of a ruthless strategy to eliminate as many good jobs as possible.”
Amazon declined to comment on the rumor.