Amazon launches its checkout-free store

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Amazon has unveiled its view of the future of retail with the official opening of the company's next-generation store.

The new Amazon Go store, attached to its new headquarters in Seattle, is set to open later today, offering an automated shopping experience that the company hopes will make retail smoother than ever.

The store looks to offer everything that a typical supermarket does, including everyday staples such as bread and milk. But it will also provide ready meals or meal kits, including some from Whole Foods following Amazon's purchase of the chain last year, that contain all the ingredients needed for shoppers to make a full meal.

In order to use the store, shoppers will need an Amazon account and have the new Amazon Go app installed on their iOS or Android phone. Users open the app to indicate they are entering the store, and their browsing and shopping is then tracked by Amazon's suite of advanced AI tracking services. 

This includes the company's Just Walk Out technology, which monitors what products are taken off the shelves and links this to the nearby users. Shoppers then have their Amazon accounts debited upon leaving the store, without the need to queue at a checkout, with a receipt then emailed straight to them.

Amazon is planning to expand Go to multiple locations around the United States, and says it will be taking feedback from the initial opening.