Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is bullish on physical stores. However, the e-commerce giant isn’t thinking about building conventional physical stores. Rather, it is planning to open high-tech stores operated by robots.
The online retailing giant is considering to open a two-storey, high-tech supermarket, according to a report from The New York Post (via Business Insider).
The supermarket, currently at the prototype stage, could have just three humans, the Post reported, citing sources familiar with the company’s plans.
Amazon supermarkets will utilize technology to minimize labor
The supermarkets, spanning between 10,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet, would rely heavily on a fleet of robots, according to the newspaper. They would have no cashiers, no registers, and no lines.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is developing a technology that would detect items picked off shelves for purchase. Shoppers would need to install an app on their phones.
The report suggests that the planned supermarkets would have robots to find and pack items for customers on a floor having up to 4,000 items that shoppers “like to touch,” such as fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, and eggs.
Moreover, the supermarkets could have Amazon pharmacies, according to the Post.
The newspaper reported that the supermarkets could be run with just three humans. The company would use robots to operate the supermarkets. The maximum number of humans required to work in one of Amazon’s supermarkets is said to be 10 people.
“Amazon will utilize technology to minimize labor,” the Post reported, citing a source with knowledge of the plans.
In December, the online retailer announced a checkout-free grocery store. Dubbed Amazon Go, the store featured an advanced shopping technology. It is designed to allow shoppers to buy things using an app that automatically add products to a digital shopping cart.
Amazon robots army is bigger than armed forces of the Netherlands
In 2016, the e-commerce giant expanded its army of warehouse robots, The Seattle Times reported.
The report suggests that the e-commerce retailer employed 45,000 robots in its 20 fulfillment centers. That is a bigger headcount than that of the armed forces of the Netherlands, according to World Bank data.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is betting big on robotic technology. In 2012, the company acquired Boston-area robotics firm Kiva Systems that invented the flat, toaster-like warehouse robots for Amazon’s warehouses.
“We’ve changed, again, the automation, the size, the scale many times, and we continue to learn and grow there,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said of the robots last year.