Amazon Go - the future of retail?


It seems Massachusetts and now Philadelphia have banned cashless stores, unless you’re Costco or a parking garage. NJ and NY are in the process or thinking about it as well, because it discreminates against the poor. I get that, but I find it hard to believe this is an actual problem. For my local Go store, I have dozens of options in walking distance for the same kind of products. And those stores are always going to take other forms of payment because they don’t want to limit their market.


Are there some Costco’s that are cashless because mine takes cash, visa and EBT, but they do require a membership card for all of it. The cash issue is interesting.


Not that I know of, but the article specifically said they exempted Costco, hotels, and parking lots. It seems like it is aimed solely at Amazon. Surprisingly, Ars Technica comments are strongly in favor of this, mostly because of tracking. The same people probably shared the article on FB from their Android phone.

I guess I am taking this personally since I kind of love the place. Everything has a line at noon in Seattle for lunch, but I know I can get in and out of Amazon Go in less than two minutes. Even when it’s packed, it’s quick.


I wonder if it is their gas. Costco will not take cash at the pumps, even if they will in the store.

I’d be all over that too, even for a quick snack.


I like Costco, but I wonder why they are exempted. I don’t think of them as having a particularly large lobbying effort with legislators, so is there some critical function they provide that enables them to be special in this way?


That’s why it feels like this is aimed at Amazon. Everything else is exempted. Who else has a cashless store/system?

Although Massachusetts banned cashless in 1978, they were ahead of their time.


Lots of small retailers have gone cashless here as a result of contactless terminals. Mostly food stalls and the like.


I wouldn’t get too caught up on the Costco reference, that’s just something Ars Technica added. Philadelphia doesn’t even have any Costcos. The exemption is for places that require membership.


Ah, ok, if it exempts membership clubs then that makes a bit more sense.


Surely Amazon could restrict their Go stores to Prime members in Philly if they were dead set on expanding there.


Why would they want to go there anyway?

“Bryce Harper has signed a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies … finally answering the question: ‘How much would somebody have to pay you to live in Philadelphia?’”


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place in NYC that doesn’t take cash. The converse is true, still places that don’t take cards.


I really wouldn’t be able to say, because I never use cash except to pay my cleaning lady. If not for Mrs. Hernandez, I would be completely cashless. Everybody takes cards, even the farmers’ market accepts them now.


Farmer’s market type places are the most likely to not take cash here, though I’d say that probably 70%–80% of vendors still do.


The only places I run into anymore that don’t take cash are the occasional barbershop. I go to the old time versions, not Hair Cuttery and the like. And I figure they’re doing it to dodge paying taxes!



I feel better about going cashless if it were a public system, but as it stands, it’s all owned by private companies. At least the Cash system is still a public good.


Private companies do it far better. I get more out of using my CC than I would by paying cash. I have been mostly cashless for years, there aren’t any drawbacks and tons of advantages.


Private company aren’t beholden to the public. I prefer not to give over our ENTIRE financial system to them. You’d have to pretty naive to be that trusting.


Huh? I guess I am naive, but I am not sure how.