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Starbucks and Amazon is about to open a cashier-less coffee shop in Manhattan

Starbucks and Amazon is about to open a cashier-less coffee shop

November 19, 2021: -Starbucks is opening a pickup cafe in midtown Manhattan with Amazon that uses the retail giant’s cashier-less technology to attract busy consumers who want to buy coffee or snack quickly.

The partnership with Amazon is the latest step in Starbucks’ plan to adapt its locations to consumers’ new habits. Nearly a year and a half ago, Starbucks announced its accelerating intends to revamp its U.S. footprint, inspired by the pandemic’s abrupt shifts to how consumers wanted to buy and drink their coffee. In addition to shuttering as many as 400 stores in 18 months, the strategy included opening more pickup locations in dense urban markets and installing walk-up windows and double drive-thru lanes in suburban areas.

The first Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go location opens Thursday in New York City on 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, with a flag outside waving both companies’ logos. The Seattle-based companies plan to open at least two more locations together over the next year. The second cafe will also be in midtown Manhattan, in the New York Times Building at 40th Street and 8th Avenue.

“It’s a proof of concept that we’re both learning from,” said Kathryn Young, senior vice president of global growth and development for Starbucks.

Young declined to provide more detail on how long Starbucks and Amazon have been working together.

When customers enter the new store, they’ll first see a counter to pick up the drinks they preordered using the Starbucks mobile app. A digital screen is hanging above the counter shows which baristas are still making orders.

Starbucks employees are nearby to help assist customers as they enter, although some consumers may already be familiar with the technology. Amazon already operates a handful of Go stores within Manhattan, including one block away from the new cafe.

Shelves and refrigerated displays in the Amazon Go market section of the store feature various food options, including Starbucks classics, premade salads and sandwiches from Amazon Kitchen, and items from local favorites like Dominique Ansel, Ess-a-Bagel, and Magnolia Bakery. The store also sells items commonly found in convenience store checkout lines, like protein bars and packs of gum.

The Amazon Go technology means that customers won’t have to check out with a cashier to pay. Instead, scales, cameras, and shelf sensors tally up customers’ totals and charge them when they leave the store.

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