Amazon Go reimagines grocery store concept, with consequences for seafood sales

Amazon’s new high-tech retail concept, Amazon Go, could reimagine how packaged fish dinners and other seafood items are sold in grocery stores and supermarkets in the future.

At Amazon Go’s pilot store in Seattle, Washington, sensors detect when products are taken from or returned to shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. Instead of checking out via the typical United States grocery system via a cashier scanning product bar codes, customers simply walk out of the store and the total due is charged to their Amazon account.

“With our Just Walk Out Shopping experience, simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want, and go! No lines, no checkout (no, seriously),” the largest global online retail says on the Amazon Go website.

The 1,800-square-feet store, currently being tested by Amazon employees, will open to the public early next year. The store features grocery staples like bread and milk, along with ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options. The ready-to-eat meals are “made fresh every day by our on-site chefs and favorite local kitchens and bakeries,” the web site stated. Amazon Go also features chef-designed Amazon Meal Kits, providing all the ingredients to make a meal for two in about 30 minutes.

While it is not clear if the test store includes seafood meals and kits, future Amazon Go stores most likely will. An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on Amazon Go and its potential seafood offerings, but Seattle is a seafood hub and Amazon will likely carry local and regional favorites such as wild salmon to appeal to shoppers. In addition Amazon has already had success with selling fresh, local seafood and seafood accompaniments via its AmazonFresh service and Pike Place Fish in Seattle and Santa Monica Seafood in Santa Monica, California have increased their fresh and prepared seafood offerings on AmazonFresh since they started with the service several years ago.

Steven Johnson, grocerant guru at Tacoma, Washington-based consultancy Foodservice Solutions, believes several different seafood items will be featured in future Amazon Go stores.

“Leveraging the power of regional commissaries and kitchens, there will be fresh prepared, heat-n-eat seafood such as Alder-plank salmon, halibut with chipotle-flavored dijon mustard and tilapia with capers and baby potatoes. These are examples of regional favorites that I strongly believe will be included or added to the list of offerings at the soon-to-be-opened-to-the-public store,” Johnson said. “Seafood will work as a dinner solution.”

Johnson also believes the “Just Walk Out” shopping concept will become very popular, very quickly.

“Consumers have been begging for this, specifically fast service and ready-to-eat and heat-and-eat fresh prepared food,” he said. “Convenience and speed-of-service, combined with regional consumer-empowered menu and retail meal solutions will drive the success of Amazon Go.”

In addition, because of the urban housing density around the current Amazon Go location, “customer adoption will drive top-line sales and bottom-line profits, while creating a platform for Amazon Go’s team to experiment with incremental mix-and-match bundled meal component options. That, in turn, will drive greater customer adoption,” Johnson said.


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