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The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Amazon is fighting back against a proposal there that would essentially ban checkout-free stores; the proposal actually is designed to prevent retailers from opening stores that do not accept cash, on the premise that “cashless stores effectively discriminate against poor consumers who do not have access to credit or bank accounts, especially in a city with one of the highest levels of poverty in the country.”

According to the story, Amazon has reached out to local officials to say that if the city passed such an ordinance, it would impede its ability to open Amazon Go stores there - though, to be clear, it has yet to announce such plans.

The Inquirer notes that Amazon is not the only target of the proposal: “As technology gives consumers more ways to pay, including through smartphones, some stores have gone cashless to improve efficiency, avoid handling cash, and reduce the risk of robbery. In Philadelphia, that includes the salad chain Sweetgreen, coffee shop Bluestone Lane, and locations at Franklin’s Table, a food hall at the University of Pennsylvania.”

The bill has been passed by the city’s legislature, and now has been sent to Mayor Jim Kenney’s office for a signature or veto.
KC's View:
I’m not sure you can legislate this way, but not every store serves the same population. I remember that when I went to a Starbucks in Seattle that didn’t take cash, the barista told me that nobody ever used cash anyway, so it wasn’t an issue. But I can imagine that there are a lot of places where not taking cash would create a lot of problems.

If a store doesn’t take cash in a neighborhood where such an approach doesn’t work, then won’t the end result be that people will go to stores that do take cash? Isn’t the offending store the ultimate loser?