New Store Concepts Do Away with Check Out

Amazon Go is a store concept that speeds up check-out by eliminating cashiers. Now Microsoft plans to develop similar technology that enables carts to track items put in and charge credit cards without a formal check-out.

The two companies expect to reduce costs as minimum wage increases make it more costly to hire human labor.

According to a Forbes story, the trend is bad for people who are expecting a $15 an hour minimum wage, but will help stores compete on “razor thin” margins against tech like Amazon Go.

“In fact, the movement may have helped Walmart, Target, Amazon, McDonald’s and the like to step up the trend to replace workers⎯who are now more expensive than technology, which usually becomes more efficient and less costly over time,” according to the Forbes story.

Amazon Go store

Some stores, however, find that low-tech shoppers become frustrated with machines they feel are too difficult to use. Walmart abandoned much of its self check-out counters for that very reason.