Amazon opened a grocery store in Seattle on Tuesday that doesn’t contain any cashiers and relies on technology to see what its customers are buying, how they enter the store, pay for groceries, etc. While the idea is good, I think there is a time and a place for modern technology to be used. This is not one of those places.
The first thing that I thought was a loophole with this store and its lack of staff is shoplifting. Maybe I don’t understand or am unaware of the security that the store has to make sure that customers won’t steal goods, but someone could easily walk out of the store with their groceries without paying for it if there are no security procedures in place. Another thing that bothers me about the opening of this store is the lack of opportunity for job creation. There are minimal people working at the store and no opportunity for those that are unemployed to go to work.
Call me old fashioned, but I think that there are certain retail experiences that I think require human interaction. Buying groceries is one of those. It is easier to talk to a human being if you can’t find a certain item or need help with getting an item off of the shelf (if you’re short like me and don’t have your tall husband with you to get it).
Don’t get me wrong; Amazon is one of the greatest conveniences on the planet. Order any item you need and depending on whether you have a Prime membership, you can have it the next day. However, when it starts to infiltrate other parts of life and it doesn’t necessarily need to, I get a little uncomfortable. Use technology responsibly, but not to monopolize the free market.