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CORRECTED: Amazon launches store-pick grocery service in Seattle
29 March 2017, 02:00 | Ignacio Smith
Amazon eyes delivering on grocery sales
The current pickup locations can be found in Settle's SODO and Ballard neighborhoods.
The move signals an acceleration in Amazon's plans to shake up the $600 billion-a-year US supermarket industry, one of the few retail sectors that has not yet been significantly transformed by two decades of online shopping.
Considering that Jeff Bezos announced past year that the company plans to invest over $5 billion in the country, the company might be looking to expand aggressively in India through physical stores going ahead.
The Times also reports that Amazon is mulling Apple-style retail outlets for its own consumer electronics-perhaps prompted by the runaway success of its Alexa-powered smart speaker devices.
The store in Amazon's AMZN, +0.14% hometown of Seattle uses cameras, sensors and algorithms to watch customers and track what they pick up, according to the people. The company compares it with the technology at work in self-driving cars. Once the beta program is over, Prime customers will be able to use AmazonFresh Pickup for free and as manytimes as they'd like.
Go is one of several efforts Amazon has made to enter brick-and-mortar retail.
Amazon is already testing a food store without checkouts in Seattle, called Amazon Go, and has plans to open two drive-up grocery stores, called AmazonFresh Pickup, in the next few weeks. It also has a grocery store in Seattle, where customers can just walk, pick up the products and walk out, thanks to the company's Amazon Go service. In comparison, AmazonFresh, the company's long-standing grocery delivery service, costs $15 per month to join and includes a $10 charge for orders under $40.
Groceries are the biggest untapped opportunity in e-commerce and it makes sense for Amazon to find ways to disrupt it, said Cooper Smith, an Amazon analyst with business intelligence company L2.
Amazon Go is one of numerous company's efforts to enter the physical retail sector.
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