When online giant Amazon debuted its Amazon Go convenience concept to the public in 2018, its cashless shopping experience was seen by many as the future of retail – with customers only needing access to an Amazon account in order to purchase.
Less than a year later, and Amazon has unveiled the future of its forward thinking Go-branded concept: cash.
Amazon’s latest Go store, launched in New York City in early May, is the first of the brands stores to not require customers use an Amazon app tied to a credit-card to pay for goods. This change is set to be rolled out across the retailer’s 10 other Amazon Go locations, though no time-frame has been given.
Amazon’s senior vice president of physical stores Steve Kessel told Amazon employees the company planned for “additional payment mechanisms” to be implemented in order to address “discrimination and elitism” at its cashierless stores.
“We’re in earlier days but it’s an important focus for us and we’ll continue to extend those methods with our stores,” Kessel said, according to CNBC.
The change comes off the back of regulatory changes in the US – with cashless stores recently banned in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Other US cities are in the process of bringing in similar regulations in an effort to ensure sections of its citizenry are not being denied access to goods they may need.
Not only this, but according to the Pew Research Center around 1 in 3 low-income earners in the US don’t own a smartphone, putting a further barrier between these customers and Amazon’s Go model, as reported by the Verge.