Amazon is reportedly mulling an automated grocery store that would be two stories and would be staffed with a team of robots that can pull items off the shelves and bag them for shoppers.
According to a report by the New York Post over the weekend, sources told the paper the two-story supermarket would be a bigger version of its Amazon Go convenience store, which it recently unveiled. The layout of the larger store would be between 10,000 and 40,000 square feet and would be stocked with items that shoppers want to touch, including fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, meats and cheeses, as well as beer and wine. Amazon could also include pharmacies at some of the store locations.
While Amazon is trying to expand beyond eCommerce, the biggest piece of this new supermarket, if it proves to be true, may be the fact that it will need only three employees at a time because of the robots. The idea is to max the staff out at 10 workers for each store during any shift.
“Amazon will utilize technology to minimize labor,” a source close to the situation told NY Post. A manager, for example, would be in charge of signing up customers for the AmazonFresh grocery service, while other workers would be tasked with restocking shelves and yet another two would be at drive-through windows.
In early December, Amazon released details on how its new Amazon Go grocery stores will work with its “Just Walk Out” technology. The first location will open its doors in early 2017 in Seattle and without traditional registers. Featuring grab-and-go meals, snacks and bakery items, the new Amazon technology enhances the experience with no lines and no waiting through a virtual shopping cart that processes what customers pick up to then charge them.