Amazon Go will no longer be isolated to the Amazon campus. The online giant announced earlier this week it would be opening a second location of its cashier-less market in posh new office tower Madison Centre. The new store is set to open in Fall 2018.
The expansion nearly triples Amazon Go’s total floor space, with 3,000 square feet in the new location compared to 1,800 in the original location right by the Amazon Spheres, which opened this past January.
Rather than having checkout lines with cashiers or even automated checkout machines, customers at an Amazon Go store scan their phones upon entry, then pick up their items from the shelves as sensors and cameras follow them around the premises. Shoppers are then automatically charged for their purchases on the card they have on file as they exit.
While the process may be more convenient for a certain kind of customer—regular credit card users with smartphones that aren’t relying on public benefits for that trip—neither Amazon Go or Amazon.com accepts food stamps. Asked about the possibility of bringing federal SNAP benefits to Amazon Go, a spokesperson told Curbed Seattle that “the current law does not allow for SNAP benefits to be used on Amazon.com or at Amazon Go, but we’re excited to be working on a pilot program with the USDA to accept SNAP benefits on Amazon.com.”
Despite more and more residential projects moving into downtown, grocery options have for the most part been limited to Pike Place Market, which cool, but crowded, and not the best for all everyday shopping; Kress, only open for the past decade or so; and City Target, which has a more limited selection and a higher pricing structure than a standard target. Local grocery chain PCC announced its first downtown location in the under-construction Rainier Tower back in March, but that won’t be completed until 2020.
Other Madison Centre tenants include law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, text-analysis startup Textio, and analytics firm EY Society. While the building opened in the fall of 2017, it’s been relatively slow to lease.