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So, when is Amazon Go-ing to open its E Pike store?

(Image: Amazon)

Amazon Go, the company’s cashless, employee-less, checkout-less, quick mart concept is now out of the alpha-beta grocery phase and has been unleashed on the real world of 7th Ave to solve your snacking needs. Check-in with your phone, let the shelf’s weight sensors log your selections like the world’s largest minibar, and be on your way.

It’s possible we might see one next on E Pike. Expect a wait.

A year ago, CHS reported on the clues that the Seattle-based retail giant is behind plans for a 10,000 square-foot retail space in the Mercedes Benz dealership-turned AVA Capitol Hill development in the 600 block of E Pike. In spring of 2015, CHS reported on the 10,437-square-foot space being lined up for a secret retailer in the Avalon-developed building. By summer of 2016, CHS learned that the project was a grocery store thanks to a complaint filed against the project’s scale, since resolved. One of the firms involved in the project’s design, Pepin Associates, has worked on groceries including Big Y and Price Chopper Supermarkets. Meanwhile, the Amazon senior program manager included in City of Seattle filings on the project worked on the University Village Amazon bookstore and the launch team for Amazon Go, according to his Linked In profile.

The company, unsurprisingly, has never responded to our inquiries about the project and the space remains almost exactly as it did when CHS first reported the news last January. A peek inside shows the start of a retail build-out, apparently stopped midstream.

Property owners in the area who have talked with people working on the plans but who did not want to go on the record about the store tell CHS we’re on the right path, the company just works on a timeline much different than you might normally see for a neighborhood project. Amazon has a major investment in the area to digest — in the time since we reported on Amazon’s retail aspirations in Pike/Pine, the company acquired Whole Foods. The grocery chain remains on track to open its store at Broadway and Madison in late 2018.

Amazon is definitely geared up for more Amazon Go and related activity — the company is hiring.

Meanwhile, groceries remain a growth industry in the increasingly dense areas around Capitol Hill, the Central District, and First Hill with large chains vying to anchor some of the largest coming developments.

So, how long before we see some sort of Amazon grocery store on E Pike? It could be awhile. Expect another CHS update *next* January. According to the most recent activity for the property filed in September, the construction permit for “initial tenant improvements for new (retail store) in an existing mixed use building” expires in February 2019.

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12 thoughts on “So, when is Amazon Go-ing to open its E Pike store?

  1. Visited Amazon Go last night – it might better be called Amazon Slow…

    – seems the tech can’t keep up with more than 30ish people in the store. So prepare to wait to enter.

    – it doesn’t give you any real time feedback on what it thinks you purchased – you only get a receipt 20+ minutes after you leave. Feels like the hotel minibar with sensors that suddenly charges you $$. Lack of feedback seems like a huge fail for such a new technology

    -worse still if you bring kids in you also have to scan them in, and then anything they touch will be added to your basket. If they put it back in theory it should go away again. But you won’t know until you are half way home…

    – it requires a vast array of cameras for the small store. I hate to think what a whole foods sized store would need.

  2. Amazontown moves up the hill, here you can buy all the plastic wrapped shit you could ever want, and no employees!! Adios Seattle, we knew you well.

    Oh future land
    Oh future land
    Bezos grant his grace on us
    And now consume
    Tlll the planet fumes
    Income tax we won’t discuss

  3. People may be fascinated by the sort of Jetsons aspect to this, but it’s just an old idea: the Automat. With a different payment method. I also don’t understand why they need so many cameras. If everything has some sort of chip/tag/barcode on it, it should just recognize them all at once when you leave. Also, the pricing scheme makes it harder to determine if something is fair or not. Since everything is prepackaged, with minimal variations among like items, comparison shopping is eliminated. For people interested in convenience, it just seems something like Instacart (while not ideal from a labor point of view) is a more relevant option. For Amazon Fresh, there’s no way to know how much the item costs in comparison to an actual grocery store, so again they remove the comparison. Instacart, depending on the grocery store, can at least generally say how the instacart price compares to the in-store price (not always the same). I don’t understand why people accept this future with open arms when it overall means the destruction of jobs (especially jobs that don’t require being a web developer, a career path inaccessible to many). This store concept is repulsive and dangerous.

    • TechCrunch has some pics of the Camera array – basically the entire ceiling is covered in cameras. I think the problem is from above at a relatively close distance you don’t get a huge field of view. In addition they don’t use rfid so everything is image recognition and based on the shelf knowing what was removed / replaced. If you don’t put something back in the same place it came from I’ve no idea what happens….

      Given that you need employees to stack the shelf, you might as well multitask them and have checkouts as well.

    • It is not hard to remember the prices of items you normally buy.

      This place is like an upscale 7-11. Not cheap at all.

      I wonder how much a store like this is really saving by having no cashiers. They still need stockers, security, and all the tech guys managing it.

  4. It’s all gimmicky. It’s an interesting novelty but it’s still in its infancy. The self serve, cashierless, interface would be awesome to have in the long run. Hopefully then stores would have more staff for help and stocking items. But I’m not going to stand in line to “try” this out. I’ll wait until it becomes mainstream. It is changing how we shop and interface with the world around us.

  5. Ugh you know what does this job pretty well? Vending machines. Let’s have some sweet ass vending machines a la japan all over our dear hill… with a community stocked one! Imagine that.

  6. They accept it because they don’t care.
    They buy everything on Amazon, then shake their heads (“so sad, tsk-tsk”) when retailers close, and leave people jobless.
    They don’t GAF what groceries cost, because they earn enough to not give GAF.
    They step over homeless people (adults and kids) on the sidewalk, and can’t understand “why don’t they just get a job?”. (like what?)
    Oh yeah, the future will be great, at this rate:

  7. Why is this so great?
    If you eat healthy, MOST of what you eat is produce, and needs to be weighed.
    Why has nobody hit on this major blunder.
    This is a 7-11 replacement, if that floats your boat, great.

  8. Even if you do just go for prepackaged stuff, processed stuff, fine. But I would never trust it, as the previous poster mentioned, you do NOT know what you paid until some time later, and good luck disputing a wrong charge. Who even cares about this stuff?

  9. 3 years this 10,000 square foot space has sat derelict turning the block into a boarded up ghost town. Good job Amazon! I can see that Amazon is going to suck as a neighbor!