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07/12/2022

Starbucks and Amazon team up again for frictionless store concept

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The first “Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go” location (photos above) opened in November.

Starbucks and Amazon are expanding their store concept that lets customers bypass the checkout when they pay for orders.

The second “Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go” location has opened in Manhattan, in The New York Times Building at 40th Street & 8th Avenue. The first location opened in November, at 59th Street between Park and Lexington Avenues (in Manhattan).

The store is a combination of the Starbucks Pickup format, which primarily accepts orders that are placed through the Starbucks app prior to the customer arriving at the store, and the “Just Walk Out” cashierless technology platform supporting the Amazon Go store format. Amazon began licensing the Just Walk Out platform, which combines computer vision, sensor fusion, and machine-learning algorithms, in March 2020.

Customers can order a coffee or beverage at the new Starbucks format by pre-ordering (and paying for) their drink on the chain’s mobile app, choosing the location, and then going to the store where the order will be waiting. Orders that are still being processed are noted on a digital screen above the counter. 

Starbucks Pickup stores primarily accept orders that are placed through the Starbucks app prior to the customer arriving at the store. Customers can place and pay for their order by selecting the pickup location in the app. Once the customer arrives at the store, they can find the status of their order on a digital screen in the store and then pick up their order directly from a Starbucks barista.

Amazon Go market
Part of the store is dedicated to an Amazon Go market, which offers a curated selection of food items from both Starbucks and Amazon Go convenience stores. This section includes a lounge setting with individual workspaces/dining booths and tables with power outlets and USB ports. To enter the Amazon Go market and lounge area, customers can use the “in-store code” in the Amazon shopping app, Amazon One biometric palm identification, or a credit card.

Once in, customers can shop the Amazon Go market similar as to how they would at an Amazon Go store. Any items that a customer takes off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart. Anything put back on the shelf, comes out of the virtual cart. When a customer is done shopping, they can either sit in the lounge to consume their items or leave. After the customer leaves the Amazon Go market, their card will be charged and they can have access to their receipt within a few hours or faster.

In addition to offering the full Starbucks menu, the store offers Amazon Kitchen food items including a turkey and cheddar sandwich, Buffalo-style wrap, and BBQ seasoned salad with chicken. The Amazon Go market offers Starbucks food items including egg white and roasted red pepper sous vide egg bites, butter croissant, sausage and cheddar breakfast sandwich, and protein boxes. Local vendors available in the Amazon Go market include Dominique Ansel, Ess-a-Bagel, Epicured, Genji Sushi, Proper Food, and York Street Caterers.