The Skin-Tech Devices Helping Execs Beautify in a HurryRead More

Outside a Whole Foods store in Berkeley, Calif. Photo by Bloomberg

Amazon Finally Fesses Up on Cashierless Whole Foods Plans

Photo: Outside a Whole Foods store in Berkeley, Calif. Photo by Bloomberg

Ever since Amazon opened its first Amazon Go cashierless convenience store to the public at the start of 2018, its executives have been brushing off questions about whether they planned to introduce the same technology to Whole Foods. Sometimes those brushoffs were outright denials, like in this New York Times account, while other times executives claimed they had “no plans...for now” to add the tech to Whole Foods. Today, though, Amazon admitted it is rolling out the tech to two Whole Foods stores, as a first step while it gauges customer reaction. There can be little doubt this is the beginning of the end for cashiers in Whole Foods. And this was almost certainly the plan all along.

It’s hardly surprising Amazon would lie, or at the very least, obfuscate about its plans. While there are surely plenty of shoppers who will appreciate skipping grocery store lines, and investors who will applaud a cost-cutting move, this guarantees a bitter battle with labor unions and progressives already hostile to Amazon’s power. As this Wall Street Journal article last month outlined, the antitrust team assembled by President Biden is likely to prioritize the needs of “suppliers, small business and workers” over consumers. That means lower prices—or free services—aren’t enough to justify a company’s power if it hurts workers or small businesses.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Musk Puts $20 Billion Value on Twitter
Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg.
Elon Musk offered Twitter employees stock grants at a valuation of roughly $20 billion, said a person familiar with an email Musk sent to staff, less than half what he paid to buy the company. It was a concrete acknowledgment of how much Twitter’s value has dropped since the deal—but it is still well above public market valuation levels for Twitter’s rivals.
Latest Briefs
Apple Insiders Debate Prospects for Mixed Reality Headsets
Twitter Valued at $20 Billion in New Employee Stock Grant
Amazon Starts Latest Round of 9,000 Layoffs
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Tonal’s now-shuttered Palo Alto, Calif. retail store. Photo by Getty.
Exclusive startups
Tonal’s Valuation May Fall 90% in ‘Cram-Down’ Financing
Tonal, a fitness startup with a cadre of celebrity backers, is crunched for cash after failing to find a buyer.
Clockwise from top left: Julie Bornstein, Esther Crawford, Mark Hammond, Max Cutler, Kağan Sümer. Photos via Julie Bernstein, Robert Cowherd, Microsoft, Wikimedia and Kağan Sümer.
Free Agents startups
On the Market: The Founders Who Joined Microsoft, Spotify, Coinbase and Twitter
Call them acqui-fires. Several founders who took positions at the bigger tech companies that bought their startups recently lost their jobs when layoffs rolled through Silicon Valley.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk last August. Photo by Bloomberg
Exclusive startups electric vehicles
SpaceX Plans New Funding With Backing From Saudi, UAE Investors
A subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s investment fund and an Abu Dhabi investment firm are planning to invest in a multibillion-dollar funding round for SpaceX, Elon Musk’s rocket company, according to people familiar with the investor discussions.
Bill Gurley in 2019. Photo by Bloomberg
Good Eggs Cuts Its Valuation 94% in Lifeline Financing as More Startups Get Desperate
As more startups struggle to raise money from venture capitalists and approach bankruptcy, they are going to extreme lengths to stay afloat.
Block chairman and co founder Jack Dorsey. Photo by Getty
Fintech’s Big Wakeup Call
Fintechs were supposed to transform banking by making it dead simple for users to open savings accounts or pay their bills.
Art by Clark Miller.
Market Research e-commerce culture
The Skin-Tech Devices Helping Execs Beautify in a Hurry
I’m always 29 at heart,” said Liyia Wu, CEO of ShopShops, a livestream shopping app for fashion, beauty and lifestyle products.