business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Amazon has announced that it will open a second Amazon Go checkout-free store in Seattle, in what is described as a “posh new office tower” called Madison Centre. The location is scheduled to be 3,000 square feet, which is more than 50 percent larger than the original 1,800 square feet occupied by the original Seattle Amazon Go.

The store is slated to open this fall.

CNet reports that Walmart has been awarded “a US patent for a new listening system for its stores that could raise serious privacy concerns from its shoppers and workers. According to the filing, the system would capture a variety of sounds in the store to figure out employees' performance and effectiveness at checkout … the system can be used to capture beeps produced by a scanner and the rustling of bags at checkout to find out the number of items in a transaction or even the number of bags used.

“More alarmingly, the patent mentions that the system could be used to listen to guests' conversations to determine the lengths of checkout lines.”

• Kroger announced that it plans to open a second headquarters as a home to its digital team. Unlike Amazon - which is engaged in a highly publicized search for a second headquarters city, dubbed HQ2 - Kroger is sticking close to home: the new HQ will be opened in its home city of Cincinnati.

The new facility is slated to house as many as 1,000 digital associates within three years, with people being moved from other buildings to the new location, which is seen as an effort to centralize Kroger’s various digital initiatives.
KC's View: