Amazon Go stores: A new concept in shopping hits the Chicago market

Amazon Go stores: A new concept in shopping hits the Chicago market

Chicago may have lost the battle for the new Amazon Headquarters but we are the first city outside of Seattle to get Amazon's latest innovation, their Amazon Go stores.

The new concept which Amazon tested for over a year was initially rolled out in Seattle in January 2018. The company’s fourth and the first outside its hometown—opened in late September at 113 S. Franklin St., on the first floor of the complex where Amazon’s Chicago office is located.

Next came the second Chicago location at 144 S. Clark St. with the third Chicago location opening just two weeks ago in the Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 W. Madison).

According to Crain's Chicago Business this is just the tip of the iceberg in what's expected to be a 3000 store roll out by 2021 and may just be how stores of the future will operate.

With Amazon having taken over Whole Foods--it will be interesting to see how far the new concept will spread.

The concept behind the stores is what Amazon calls "walk out shopping.” The stores feature  a convenience store atmosphere where you grab what you want and walk out the door--no lines, no cashiers, no baggers--once you have downloaded the Go Amazon app.

At the Ogilvie Transportation Station, the offerings looked fresh and the store was very clean. The prices were reasonable. The shopping experience was quick and easy. Here's a look at some of the items in the 1,700-sq. foot space.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Products are neatly displayed with lots of choices.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

There's something for every taste from chips and soft drinks to healthy choices.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

You can even pick up dinner before heading home with a meal kit that can be prepared in 30 minutes with selections including Steak Au Poivre.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Breakfast choices are available including cereal and breakfast sandwiches.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Healthy soups are available at reasonable prices. There is no hot prepared food, in part because of the focus on eliminating lines, but there are ready-to-heat items and two microwaves on-site.

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

Photo: Carole Kuhrt-Brewer

There are many seafood choices including sushi. Some fresh items, such as salads and fruit are available and delivered daily from distributors including Amazon, Fairgrounds, Farmer’s Fridge and I Love Sweets.

All stores require a smartphone and the Amazon Go app. Customers must download the app then scan it in order to gain access to the store (see photo at top of post). Cameras and other sensors track shoppers as they browse and add items to a virtual cart as customers take them off shelves.

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Amazon automatically charges customers’ accounts when they leave the store. Your receipt will appear on your phone.

As of now all stores are only open on weekdays with the new Amazon Go store at the Ogilvie Transportation Center open Monday thru Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Looking back: Check out my Favorite Foodie Moments from 2018.

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