Amazon and Starbucks have partnered to establish a new cashierless cafe in Manhattan, which will open to the public on Thursday.
Customers can order coffee, pastries, and sandwiches ahead of time on the Starbucks app and see the status of their order on a digital screen when they arrive at the new concept store, which combines a traditional Starbucks pickup cafe with the so-called “Just Walk Out Shopping” experience of an Amazon Go market.
Customers can then pick products off the shelf and add them to their Amazon Go virtual cart, or return them to the shelf to remove them. When a consumer exits the Amazon Go market after using the Amazon app, Amazon One payment method, or credit card to enter the store, they will be automatically invoiced for their purchases.
For individuals who prefer to work in the cashier-less cafe, the coffee shop and market also has a lounge and individual workstations, extendable tables, power outlets, and USB connections.
In a statement, Katie Young, Starbucks’ senior vice president of global growth and development, stated, “The new Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go is meant to provide our customers with an experience that delivers convenience and connection in an effortless way.”
“Our goal with this new store concept is to give our customers the ability to choose which experience is right for them as they go through their day,” Young explained. “Whether it’s using the Starbucks and Amazon apps to buy food and beverages on the go, or staying in the lounge for the traditional third place experience Starbucks is known for,” Young added.
According to a joint statement released Thursday, the Seattle-based companies plan to open a second location in the New York Times Building next year and a third in New York City soon to meet “evolving customer preferences for convenience, higher levels of mobile ordering and contactless pay, and reduced time waiting in lines.”
The initiatives come as the service industry struggles to hire staffers in the aftermath of COVID-19-related shocks, but also as millennial and Gen Z buyers have pushed for more unattended commerce.
The store debuts against the backdrop of recent labour organising efforts at Amazon and Starbucks.
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