Jeff Bezos just got even richer, but some are beginning to ask at what cost?
According to Forbes, the world’s only centi-billionaire received an extra $2.8 billion after the launch of Amazon’s first cashier-free store on Tuesday. The revenue was generated from a 2.5 percent increase in the company’s stock on Wednesday.
That’s all well and good for a man who already has more money than anyone on the planet, but what about the rest of us? Well, some on Twitter are pointing out that Amazon’s gain could be detrimental to everyday people, especially those in the service industry. As Seattle Times reporter Mike Rosenberg points out, being a cashier is the second most common job in the U.S.
Bezos gets most of his money from his 16 percent stake in Amazon, which has a market value of over $650 billion. He also owns The Washington Post. Recently Amazon has been shopping around for a city to build a new headquarters in, coming up with a shortlist of 20 possible locations. SNL did a hilarious skit of this oddly pageant-esque process over the weekend.
Meanwhile, the company opened its first Amazon Go store in its hometown Seattle this week. The store sells groceries, meal kits, and a few other select items, and in it customers can swipe in and then walk out with their items as cameras and the Amazon Go app monitor purchases and charge the shopper accordingly. This eliminates the need for cashiers.
The fear is that the Amazon Go technique is the beginning of a wider trend of changes for grocery stores across the country. Amazon could expand the store, or sell its process to other companies. Amazon also just bought Whole Foods last year, which means they already have access to a grocery store that is set up nationwide.
In response to Bezos' ballooning wealth, some on Twitter are pointing out the wild discrepancy between Bezos’ riches and the general population, including Amazon’s own employees. Others are circulating photos of guillotines and tweeting calls to “eat the rich."
If you’re the type of person who is just completely disinterested in a cashierless store, do yourself a favor and show some love to your cashier the next time you get groceries.