Amazon launched its High Tech Go convenience Shop a year ago, where shoppers Could pull items off the shelf and walk Outside.
Now it’s adding a low-tech attribute: accepting cash.
Its new store opening in New York City Tuesday will be the first Amazon Go store to do so. At its other stores, customers can only enter with a program that links to a credit card or a Amazon account.
The company, facing backlash from critics that say cashless stores discriminate against the poor, confirmed last month that it was working on a means to accept paper coins and bill.
In the new shop, employee will swipe those who wish to pay by cash through the turnstile entrance. After shoppers grab what they need off the shelves, an employee will scan each item with a mobile device and check them out. There still won’t be cash registers in the store.
Cameron Janes, who manages Amazon’s physical stores, says the way it accepts cash could change later on, but declined to give specifics.
“This is how we are starting,” he says.
In recent decades, a small but increasing number of shops across the country have gone cash-free. But some activists and politicians say that discriminates against individuals who do not have a bank account.
New Jersey passed a statewide ban shortly after, and similar laws have been considered in nyc and San Francisco.
It is not clear how many shoppers will skip the program and need to pay by cash at Amazon Go. The New York store, the first in town, is at Brookfield Place, a high-end shopping mall and office complex that houses a Gucci store and office workers from banks and credit card firms. Amazon expects many of its clients to be workers seeking to get a lunchtime sandwich or salad, individuals who live in the area or vacationers visiting the nearby World Trade Center.